French contribution to SPURS

As a contribution to SPURS, LOCEAN is coordinating STRASSE, an oceanographic expedition in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre during the summer 2012 on the R.V. Thalassa (August 16 to September 13).

During this expedition, CTD and bio-optical casts, scanfish and glider surveys will be collected on a mesoscale array. The large scale environment will be sampled by salinity drifters (SIO and smos/drifters site), SVP drifters (NOAA/AOML) and Argo floats. Three turbulence/meteorological time series stations are planned to investigate the fine and submeso scales contributions to surface salinity variability, during which the autonomous profiler ASIP, the autonomous sailing vessel VAIMOS and the instrumented catamaran Ocarina shall be deployed, and the near-surface/surface waves measured from instrumented drifters, towed SSP (APL, Seattle), grabisu and on-board instruments.

These investigations will be carried by French teams as well as their European colleagues at the University of Galway, ICM/CSIC, and NOC, and by US colleagues at APL/university of Washington and SIO.

The dynamical environment of the survey area will be diagnosed by a team of LOCEAN, COM and CMS French scientists, and the surface salinity data will be compared to different SMOS retrievals together with careful estimates of waves and sea states.