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GSO Technical Report Number


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.


As part of the SYNOP (Synoptic Ocean Prediction experiment) field program, twelve tall moorings measured the Gulf Stream's temperature and velocity fields with current meters (CM) at nominal depths of 400 m, 700 m, 1000 m, and 3500 m for two years, from May 1988 through August 1990. Simultaneously, 24 inverted echo sounders (IES) monitored the thermocline topography. A third observational component of the experiment was the release of isopycnal RAFOS floats; 70 such floats traversed the area monitored by the CM and the IES. This report documents the methods used to compute vertical motion for each data source, and the differences and similarities between the three methods. Typical velocities during `strong' events, as observed by or inferred from all three instruments, was 1-2 mm s-1 in regions near the center of the Gulf Stream. The comparison of RAFOS vertical motions and vertical motions diagnosed from CM data showed excellent agreement; furthermore, CM vertical motions and IES vertical motions are statistically coherent for periods longer than 12 days. We conclude that we may map mesoscale fields of w(x, y, t); the fields mapped are consistent with quasi-geostrophic dynamics.