Coastal Ocean Circulation Experiment off Senegal (COCES)
ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI OCEANOGRAFIA E DI GEOFISICA SPERIMENTALE SGONICO (ITALY)
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To investigate the dynamics of coastal areas dominated by buoyancy input and wind forcing, influenced by complex topography and interacting with the deep ocean. To improve the understanding of coastal marine environmental evolution, with particular emphasis on eddy dynamics. The general objective of the COCES project is to investigate the coastal dynamics off NW Africa in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. In particular, it is planned to study the near-surface dispersion and circulation off the coast of Senegal, a region strongly influenced by coastal upwelling dynamics and affected by the runoff of an important river, using drifter observations and ancillary satellite data SST and ocean color over about a year from spring 2009 to winter 2010, in collaboration with local oceanographers. Surface drifters will be deployed at key locations on the continental shelf and slope off Senegal to maximize the geographical coverage in the study area and to construct maps of mean circulation and eddy variability under winter upwelling and summer conditions. Some drifters will be deployed near the vicinity of the mouth of the major rivers to study the river plume dynamics under several wind e.g., NE upwelling favorable and SW downwelling favorable winds and discharge rate conditions. All the drifter data will also be analyzed in concert with satellite images SST and ocean color to describe qualitatively the surface dynamics, with particular focus on mesoscale circulation features such as eddies and filaments. Training and capacity building activities are also proposed to teach Senegalese people to operate drifters, to process their data, and to analyze the scientific results obtained from them.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography