Supplement to: Ocean Climate Observations and Analyses

Robert Weller and Albert Pluedmann , Woods Hole OCeanographic Institution


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Ocean Reference Station (ORS) project is carried out to provide critical, sustained observations of a key region of the ocean – the easterly trade wind region that covers roughly 50% of the ocean surface in a wide belt spanning the equator. To provide continuous, climate-quality observing of the trade wind region, we have developed surface moorings with the capability of making sustained, accurate observations at the sea surface and in the water column, and have chosen and occupied three key trade wind sites. The STRATUS mooring samples the region off northern Chile characterized by persistent marine stratus clouds and where atmospheric, coupled, and climate model errors are significant.

The most recent STRATUS mooring turnaround was done on the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown, Cruise RB-17-02, by WHOI’s Upper Ocean Processes Group on April 26 to May 20, 2017. The STRATUS-16 mooring was deployed on 12 May 2017, with an anchor position of about 19° 25¢ S, 85° 04¢ W in 4534 m of water. To maintain a continuous, high-quality time series the ORS moorings require service at 12-14 months after initial deployment.  In 2018, NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown will not be available.  However, in both 2014 and 2015, the Chilean Navy Research Vessel Cabo de Hornos was used to do the STRATUS turn around cruise

In order to perform the STRATUS mooring service in a timely manner, arrangements have been made to again use the Cabo de Hornos, operated by the Chilean Navy. The Cabo de Hornos is a modern research vessel suitable vessel for this work, having performed the STRATUS mooring turn arounds in 2014 and 2015.   This proposal request funds to charter Cabo de Hornos for 15 days at sea in 2018, for food and lodging costs on board during the charter, and for additional shipping and port services costs stemming from the use of Cabo de Hornos in April 2018 to do the STRATUS turn around cruise.