June 18, 2021 (First day of SIRATES at Sea)

After a year of delays the SIRATES finally set sail! We’re all excited and am looking forward to sharing our impressions from out of sea.

The trip started with with a three hour journey from Woods Hole to our first CTD station. A CTD is an oceanographic sensor system that measures the conductivity, temperature and depth throughout the water column.  This allows oceanographers to study the composition of the different interacting layers. The plan is to do nine profiles from  41°N, 71°W going southward.

But first, who are we on board? Here is a picture of us:

This is us — the SIRATES Science Party: (from left to right) Glen, Maaya, Noa, Adrienne, Lukas, Frank, Erica. Not in the picture: Amy and Avijit.

June 17, Salinity Intrusion – An example

Since it is the Salinity Intrusion Experiment, it is a good time to show what the intrusion looks like.

Here is an example of a salinity intrusion from our Chief Scientist Glen Gawarkiewicz, WHOI. This is what an intrusion looks like in a vertical profile.

Vertical profile of Salinity. The intrusion delta_S is expressed by the excess of maximum salinity from its threshold values above and below which determines its thickness.


June 17, Onboard on RV Armstrong

Well, some of us decided to come onboard in the evening of 17th, the day before we officially start our voyage on the SIRATES. The equipments are loaded. The vessel is ready.

Thanks to all the people at WHOI who has helped see through the COVID mitigation protocols and bring us safely to a safe ship. It was a good process and I must say a process well executed and resulted in a fully vaccinated science team and crew. We are all excited to begin this experiment with Armstrong. Here it is.

The Research Vessel
Neil Armstrong of WHOI


About Us

We are a group of scientists going together on a cruise to support the NSF funded Salinity Intrusions Project using the R/V Neil Armstrong. Our journey will begin from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to the shelf break at about 100 m depth near the Pioneer Array region around 71W, 40N.

The Salinity Intrusions project is funded by NSF.  The project is seeking to identify and map Salinity Maximum Intrusions extending from upper continental slope onto continental shelf.  We will take turbulence measurements to identify the spatial and temporal patterns of mixing around the intrusions. One of the objectives is to determine their cross-shelf extent and how rapidly they evolve in time.  The project is utilizing 4 AUV’s simultaneously as well as turbulence measurements. Surface signatures of Warm Core Rings and shelf-slope frontal meanders from satellites will guide us continuously during the two week period.

We have some cool instruments on board including multiple REMUS-100 and a Long Range AUV for mapping the intruding features in 3-D. Additionally the VMP will measure vertical microstructure and quantify turbulence parameters within the intrusion. We will describe them as we go along.

We will be looking for salty and warm intrusions of Gulf Stream and Warm Ring waters across the shelf break into the cool and fresh shelf waters of offshore of New England. Satellite data for temperature (SST), height (SSH tracks), Chlorophyll (SSC) will be used in addition to nearby Argo floats in the adjacent slope waters to develop the larger perspective of the increasing warming in the slope sea and its impact on the shelf ecosystem. A particular aspect of that ecosystem is the possibility of lining the intrusions with Squid. More on that later.

For today, June 16, 2016 — We received two satellite-derived products. The 7-day composite from MARACOOS site (Thanks to Adrienne) and the GS-Ring Analysis from Jenifer Clark (Thanks, Jenifer). We are ready for some interesting science ahead!

Look at the intrusion near 71W.
SST and GS-Ring Analysis for June 16, 2021