National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2023

Ocean cross-validated observations from R/Vs L'Atalante, Maria S. Merian, and Meteor and related platforms as part of the EUREC4A-OA/ATOMIC campaign

L'Hégaret, P., F. Schütte, S. Speich, G. Reverdin, D.B. Baranowski, R. Czeschel, T. Fischer, G.R. Foltz, K.J. Heywood, G. Krahmann, R. Laxenaire, C. Le Bihan, P. Le Bot, S. Leizour, C. Rollo, M. Schlundt, E. Siddle, C. Subirade, D. Zhang, and J. Karstensen

Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 15, 1801–1830, doi: 10.5194/essd-15-1801-2023, View article online at Copernicus (external link) (2023)

The northwestern Tropical Atlantic Ocean is a turbulent region, filled with mesoscale eddies and regional currents. In this intense dynamical context, several water masses with thermohaline characteristics of different origins are advected, mixed, and stirred at the surface and at depth. The EUREC4A-OA/ATOMIC experiment that took place in January and February 2020 was dedicated to assessing the processes at play in this region, especially the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. For that reason, four oceanographic vessels and different autonomous platforms measured properties near the air–sea interface and acquired thousands of upper-ocean (up to 400–2000 m depth) profiles. However, each device had its own observing capability, varying from deep measurements acquired during vessel stations to shipboard underway near-surface observations and measurements from autonomous and uncrewed systems (such as Saildrones). These observations were undertaken with a specific sampling strategy guided by near-real-time satellite maps and adapted every half day, based on the process that was investigated. These processes were characterized by different spatiotemporal scales, from mesoscale eddies, with diameters exceeding 100 km, to submesoscale filaments of 1 km width. This article describes the datasets gathered from the different devices and how the data were calibrated and validated. In order to ensure an overall consistency, the platforms' datasets are cross-validated using a hierarchy of instruments defined by their own specificity and calibration procedures. This has enabled the quantification of the uncertainty in the measured parameters when different datasets are used together, e.g., (L'Hégaret et al., 2020a).

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