Field Survey Studies

The field survey study addresses the project objectives using a combination of drifter measurements (D'Asaro), ice buoys (Stanton) ship-based CTD and ADCP surveys (Muench), and satellite remote sensing (Lindsay).

The ship will arrive in the region in early August to conduct a rapid (relatively shallow) CTD survey of the study area and to deploy floats and surface buoys. During the survey, ice thickness will be monitored frequently, along with weather and remote sensing data, including satellite ice concentration and ice velocity estimates. These will be incorporated with onboard or remote modeling capability to time-step the profile observations forward based on surface flux estimates. At the end of the survey, areas which showed the least stable conditions (stepped forward in time) will be identified for more intensive study. The combination of these observations will yield a quantitative description of the ice motion, the ocean flow and hydrographic structure. The data (and the analysis) will be linked with the regional and LES modeling studies (Section 5.3), the data providing vital initialization and verification information for the models and, in conjunction with historic data (the five moorings of Bersch et al. 1992, and various CTD sections) and modeling results, will yield an improved understanding of flow and hydrographic changes.

By their concentration of observations in the upper water column, the floats and the buoys, some of which are placed in the regions of potential instability identified by McPhee 2003, also fulfill a further goal, i.e. they act as long-term watch-dog observations for convection, developing small scale instabilities, and cross-isobath processes.

Study participantes: Eric D'Asaro Robin Muench Ron Lindsay Tim Stanton