Archive for August 12th, 2011

Ocean sediments may not be gol…

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Ocean sediments may not be gold, or even Fool's Gold, but to oceanographers in the Gulf, they're still priceless.


Friday, August 12th, 2011

Hey All!

Well Challenger continues to plunge its way through the intersection of currents that lie in our area due to the overwhelming amount of eddies.  Last night we changed the way point further south as to prevent us from being pulled too far east by the warm core eddy next to us.  The changed way point successfully steered us out of its pull to the north, but for the time being we are sailing in a bit of a head current until we can break free from its control.

Even though we have lost some speed, we are predicting that we may break even our most recent high speed record of 0.57 m/s over the next couple days as the strongest southerly current we have seen to date lies only a short distance to our south.  This will launch us at high speeds southward along the eastern side of three warm core eddies before we may change direction and try and aim for the western side of a cold eddy to weave ourselves back around.  But that decision will be made for certain in the future.

Aside from our success with last nights change of way point, we have some really beautiful imagery from both our HYCOM and ULPGC models that all seem to match up fairly well (not always the case but really leaves us with a good feeling about what our plan is for the time being).

Sea Surface Height with Currents from the HYCOM model

Sea Surface Height with Currents from ULPGC model

Although the scales are different for the color on the two sea surface height images above, the correlation of the currents are the same showing the strong southerly flow.

Sea Surface Temperature with Currents from HYCOM model

Satellite Sea Surface Temperature with Current model from ULPGC

Unfortunately due to cloud cover courtesy of the storm number 20, there isn't any temperature data for the imagery, same with chlorophyll a below.

Satellite Imagery of Chl a with Current model from ULPGC

Sea Surface Salinity with Currents from HYCOM model

As described in our post from a few days ago, when on the east side of a warm eddy, salinity, temperature and currents all tend to match up.

Sea Surface Density and Currents from HYCOM model

We will keep everyone updated over the next couple of days.  Have a great weekend everyone!


Nilsen & Oliver