Graduate Student Eric Holmes has arrived in Tokyo to participate in a scientific experiment. He joins a group of 17 other scientists, led by the Chief Scientist Prof. Takeyoshi Nagai (a post doctoral alumnus of our group) who will be making physical, biological and chemical measurements across the Kuroshio Front. The host institution is the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
Eric Holmes is now onboard R/V Natsushima with other scientists from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, MIT, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to make measurements across the Kuroshio Front and fast moving Kuroshio current!
The main objectives of this scientific cruise are to elucidate whether the small scale turbulent dissipation in response to the mesoscale forcing, such as frontogenesis, is ubiquitous and intrinsic feature of the fronts, and to investigate the magnitude and spatial spread of dissipation sites in three-dimensional space near the Kuroshio Front, to investigate horizontal scales of distribution of nitrate across the front, and to investigate the submesoscale contrast in species compositions of zooplankton and phytoplankton across the Kuroshio Front.
The scientific cruise will last from Oct 17th to October 24th 2009 in which five detailed transects across the Kuroshio Front are planned.
Lodovical Illari (MIT), Amala Mahadevan (BU) and I presented a series of experiments at the Boston Museum of Science during the Earth Sciences Week in October 2009. Amala presented the non-rotating experiments showing the effect of density layering or stratification in setting up the ocean/atmospheric circulation, while I conducted the dye-stirring experiments demonstrating the importance of Earth’s rotation. Lodovica and her student showed the formation of eddies by combining the effects of rotation and stratification by forming eddies in the tank!
Debbie Schwartz sent a picture of convection cells observed in the rotating tank. We did a bunch of dye-stirring experiments for the attendees at the Working Waterfront Festival in NewBedford MA this year. The day was dry and windy, and there was evaporation at the surface of the water. When the water was stirred and the dye introduced we saw the beautiful vertically coherent Taylor curtains. After 15-20 minutes or so though, the water was back to nearly solid body rotation, and evaporation at the surface made the water cold and heavy due to latent heat loss. The dye at the surface made the rotating convection cells visible as in this picture.