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Aegean Sea: field work

Our general goals and a preliminary outline of our intended measurements were:

1. To compare internal waves and mixing at shallow (100 m) and intermediate-depths (500 m). The steep slopes around the Cycladic Plateau (figure 2) produce separations of only a few kilometers between level sites on the plateau and in nearby basins. Taking microstructure profiles alongside ADCP and moored internal-wave measurements on the plateau and in a basin provided data similar to that collected during CMO and thereby let us determine the generality of those results.

2. To relate internal wave variability to changes in local winds. We took the internal wave measurements for 2-3 months, centered around the intensive microstructure measurements. By coordinating our measurements with work being proposed by Kathie Kelly and with Greek colleagues, we had access to satellite and model wind fields (figure 1) over the Aegean during this time.

3. To observe how the internal wave field and mixing evolve between the basin and the plateau. By installing a small line array from the basin to the plateau (figure 2), we observed whether changes in internal waves on the plateau were related to (primarily wind-forced) waves propagating onto the plateau from deeper water.

Moorings went in the water August 2004 from the Greek ship R/V Aegeo. The intensive towed and microstructure cruise was onboard R/V Oceanus during Oct/Nov 2004.

View photo albums of the deployment and recovery cruises in the Gallery.

Figure 1:

A visual-band MODIS image of the Aegean taken during northerly winds. Zones of surface roughness are visible downwind of the gaps between the high islands, particularly along the Cretan Arc linking the Peloponnese, Crete, and Rhodes.

Figure 2:

Bathymetry of the study site, showing locations of moored profilers (MP) and bottom-mounted ADCP's. R/V Oceanus conducted microstructure and towed-body surveys along the blue line. The Cycladic island of Santorini is just to the west.