Flux Moorings Project

This task team is a joint project with SOFLUX and Observing Systems Design Capability Working Groups.


Primary Investigator

Yanzhou Wei (SOA, CHN)


Sarah Gille (SCRIPPS, USA)
Matthew Mazloff (Scripps, USA)
Louise Newman (UTAS, AUS)
Dake Chen (SOA, CHN)


This Task Team aims to identify what are the modes of air-sea momentum and buoyancy fluxes in the Southern Ocean, and how best to observe them?


The Big Ring has been proposed, which consists of a widely spaced array of moorings. These offer the prospect of giving ground truth to estimates of air-sea fluxes. Where should these be deployed to best constrain these fluxes? (There is also the SOTS mooring (Australian), Southern Ocean OOI mooring (US), and a proposed Brazilian SOOS Flux Buoy. This work is aimed at SOOS coordinating and organizing these efforts, along with other flux measurement efforts.)

Work Tasks

  1. All work is predicated on having good estimated statistics of air-sea fluxes, therefore the first step is to compare products and ground truth with observations (e.g. OOI mooring).
  2. Evaluate EOFs to assess patterns of variability.
  3. "Place a mooring" in the location of maximum variance. How does this project and constraint to the rest of the domain? If we remove the variability that is correlated to the observed location what remains? Where should the second mooring go? Presumably the second mooring will go in the location with the most remaining variability, which we hypothesize is driven by a climate mode largely orthogonal to that driving the variability of the first mooring. Study the relationship between these locations.
  4. Iteratively add observations to obtain the most diverse and uncorrelated set of observations.
  5. Reassess given that some moorings already exist (e.g. SOTS and OOI).
  6. Finally, what about importance of space vs time for integrated fluxes?


A paper documenting a method for constructing a mooring array for constraining buoyancy and momentum air-sea fluxes in the Southern Ocean. This will address the benefit of mooring deployment in a location with respect to reducing overall uncertainty, shed light on climate modes and spatial correlation of air-sea exchanges and will provide an in depth look at the statistics of at least one flux product. This project will contribute to SOOS Capability Working Groups Observing System Design and addresses questions raised by SOFLUX.

Copyright 2015 Southern Ocean Observing System. All rights reserved.