With the AMT4SentinelFRM validation in full swing, Gavin Tilstone, from Plymouth Marine Laboratory, offers some insight into ocean biology. The objective of cruise is to validate ocean data from the fleet of Europe’s Sentinel-1, -2 and -3 satellites as they orbit above the Atlantic Ocean. These satellites, which were developed by ESA for the EC Copernicus programme, carry a range of sensors for observing land, ocean and atmosphere. The British Antarctic Survey ship, the Royal Research Ship James Clark Ross, set sail on 20 September 2016 on a voyage that traverses almost 13 000 km – starting in Immingham, UK, and ending in Stanley, the Falklands.
After crossing the equator we sampled a series of stations in the southern hemisphere to find out what is going on in the Southern Gyre. So what is a Gyre?
It is a swirling vortex, which in the ocean is created by wind or currents. There are two main gyres in the Atlantic Ocean that are created by currents: the Northern Gyre, which circulates clockwise and is created by the North Equatorial and North Atlantic currents, and the Southern Gyre which swirls anti-clockwise, created by the South Equatorial and Antarctic Circumpolar currents.
Conductivity, temperature ...