Science Components

The moored array was designed to measure the time-varying density and velocity fields with the 4-D mesoscale resolution required to determine dynamical balances and cross-frontal exchanges of heat, salt, momentum, and PV. We centered a high-resolution in situ instrument array on the first quasi-stationary meander trough east of Japan and in the region of highest eddy kinetic energy. The array was comprised of inverted echo sounders equipped with bottom pressure gauges and current meters (CPIES), and McLane moored profilers (MMPs) equipped with upward looking Doppler current meters (ADCPs) and deep current meters (CMs). CTD/shipboard acoustic Doppler profiler (SADCP) surveys measured the broad-scale density and velocity structure and conducted highly resolved feature-studies (intense synoptic surveys) to examine the ultimate mixing processes of water parcels that cross the front.

To understand the dynamic and thermodynamic changes in the recirculation gyre (heat content, temperature advection, subduction, and PV), we needed measurements of adequate resolution within the recirculation gyre. Satellite observations of SSH and SST provided large-scale context for KESS. Profiling T, S floats (Argo profiling floats) deployed within the recirculation gyre monitored the temporal evolution of the temperature and salinity in the near-surface mixed layer, the STMW, and the intermediate waters.

Surface flux measurements from the Kuroshio Extension Observatory buoy contributed to climate studies of the role of the Kuroshio jet and its recirculation gyre. The KEO buoy was near the southern most MMP mooring site.

To help understand the connection of the Kuroshio Extension and the Recirculation Gyre to the atmosphere and climate, surface air-sea flux measurements were conducted (atmospheric soundings).

The (GCM Modeling) was used to provide broad-scale context for KESS and the in situ measurements were used to improve model parameterizations.