Accession Number:



Vertical Structure of the Upper Ocean in the High-Latitude North Atlantic.

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.,

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The subarctic North Atlantic is a region with strong seasonal signals in both physical and bio-optical properties. The site chosen for the Marine Light-Mixed Layers MLML field programs is characterized by a deep 600 to 800 m winter mixed layer as a result of substantial surface heat loss and strong wind forcing from September to March. Of particular interest at this site is the spring restratification process, wherein the deep mixed layer shoals dramatically as a result of increased surface heating during periods of weak wind forcing. The seasonal changes in mixed layer depth result in immense changes in plankton biomass observed as the spring bloom. The overall MLML program was interdisciplinary, combining physics, biology, and optics in order to determine the extent to which bio-optical properties could be predicted given knowledge of the physical forcing. Our intent was to investigate the restratification process at this unique site, as well as to provide the physical context for the extensive bio-optical measurements. The MLML experiments took place during the spring of 1989 and the spring and summer of 1991. Our contribution to the 1989 experiment was a surface mooring deployed at approximately 59 N, 21 W from April to June. The mooring was outfitted with instrumentation for determination of the air-sea fluxes of heat and momentum, and the vertical structure of temperature, velocity, and bio-optical properties in the upper ocean. During the 1991 field program a more heavily instrumented mooring was deployed at the same site from April to September.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography

Distribution Statement: