May 15 – June 11, 2023: The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) recently hosted NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) on a research cruise aboard the KIOST ship R/V ISABU to maintain moorings as part of the multi-national Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA).
One third of the world population depends on monsoon driven rainfall for agricultural production. RAMA provides crucial data in the traditionally data sparse Indian Ocean to better improve our understanding of the Indian Ocean’s role in the monsoons and support monsoon predictions.
PMEL staff Tara Clemente and Mike Strick participated on the research cruise and led the RAMA moored buoy operations. The team successfully deployed three RAMA moored buoys at 12°S 65°E, 8°S 65°E, and 4°S 65°E and deployed one subsurface ADCP mooring at 8°S 65°E. In addition to the moored buoy objectives, PMEL staff deployed eight (8) Lagrangian drifter buoys in support of the NOAA’s Global Drifter Program (GDP).
The three moored buoy sites deployed along 65°E are newly established mooring sites relocated from previously occupied mooring sites along 67°E. The new locations for these RAMA moorings are intended to better coordinate the joint Korea-U.S. Indian Ocean Scientific (KUDOS) Research Program and the KIOST Indian Ocean Study (KIOS) in the Seychelles-Chagos Thermocline Ridge region. An area around 8°S, 65°E has been established as the “RAMA K study site” and KIOST will be relocating additional subsurface moorings to this location in 2024.
Another notable event during this cruise was the recovery of the mooring from 8°S, 67°E that had gone adrift on 18 September 2022. The ISABU was able to intercept the drifting buoy and safely recover the buoy, sensors, and high-resolution data on board.
NOAA PMEL is grateful for the partnership with KIOST and wishes to commend the crew of the ISABU and the participating scientists for a successful RAMA/KUDOS/KIOS cruise.