What are the internal tides and mesoscale interactions in the South-West Tropical Pacific Ocean? How do these fine-scale processes affect this area of important biodiversity?
In the region around New Caledonia in the South-West Tropical Pacific, strong internal tides are observed, generated by complex topographic obstacles and numerous seamounts. These internal tides interact with the ubiquitous mesoscale and sub-mesoscale eddies, and impact the hydrodynamics, the water mixing, and the biology in this area of important biodiversity.
The SWOTALIS cruise, phased with the SWOT fast sampling phase, will take advantage of a SWOT swath south of New Caledonia, above the seamounts and the internal tides generation area. It will be dedicated to the study of internal tides and their interactions with meso- and sub-mesoscale structures south of New Caledonia. The objectives of the field campaign are to describe the variability of the internal tides genesis, propagation, and dissipation, with a focus on the physical processes explaining their coherence loss. Deployments of moorings, gliders, fixed stations and ship-borne sections using underway CTDs and ADCP will be used to observe the vertical structures and their variability; additional measurements will allow to infer their surface signatures, a key final objective being the observability of these processes by the sea level measured by the future SWOT satellite mission.
Principal investigators: F. Marin, S. Cravatte, L. Gourdeau, A. Ganachaud (LEGOS, France)
Institutes involved in the cruise/project: LEGOS (Toulouse), MIO (Marseille), LOPS (Brest), LIENSs (La Rochelle), IGE (Grenoble), ENTROPIE (New Caledonia), SPC (New Caledonia), USP (Fiji)
Contact point for the study site: S. Cravatte (firstname.lastname@example.org)