22 February 2022, by TRR, CEN Universität Hamburg
Photo: Manita Chouksey
Expedition M180 SONETT (Synoptic Observations - a Nested approach to study Energy Transfer & Turbulence in the ocean) is a key part of the ocean observations in the second phase of TRR181 'Energy transfers in Atmosphere and Ocean'. The expedition will take scientists to an ocean region where they can observe many processes that affect energy fluxes in the ocean and the ocean's exchange with the atmosphere.
Researchers from the University of Hamburg, the MARUM - Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, the University of Bremen, the Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (IOW) and the Helmholtz Center Hereon are involved.
The working area is located southeast of the Walvis Ridge in the eastern South Atlantic. In this region, the so-called Agulhas eddies, which are formed at the southern tip of Africa and migrate northward through the Atlantic, meet internal tides generated at the Walvis Ridge, and affect the propagation of internal tidal waves. The eddies form fronts and so-called filaments at their edges. Filaments are structures that form where different water masses meet. They look like elongated fingers on satellite images. The planned observations include surface fluxes and waves, surface layer processes, mesoscale and submesoscale variability, horizontal mixing, internal wave energy fluxes, the interaction between internal waves and eddies, and the energy dissipation in the ocean interior.
The observations will be complemented by runs of a high-resolution ocean circulation model with tidal forcing (ICON SMT-WAVE) from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, which will allow to contextualize the observations, understand processes, and characterize the energy balance of this ocean region.
The expedition starts on February 23 in Montevideo (Uruguay), on April 14 the team is expected back with METEOR in Cape Town (South Africa).