Boundary Currents

Society experiences the changes in the global ocean through the ocean’s boundaries. These boundary regions are the nexus of societal use of the ocean for fisheries, transportation, and recreation. The boundary regions are also the regions of the most intense currents in the ocean that are key to the transport of mass, heat, salt, biogeochemical variables and plankton. We propose a global network of underwater gliders to uniquely address the need to observe the ocean boundaries within a multi-platform observing system. Autonomous underwater gliders developed over the last several years, and now operated routinely, offer sustained fine resolution observations in both the coastal and open ocean. In typical use gliders profile from the surface to 500-1000 m, taking 3-6 h to complete a cycle from the surface to depth and back, and traveling 3-6 km in the horizontal for a speed of about 1 km/h. These time and space scales are especially suitable for observing boundary currents. Deployments of 3-6 months are routine, during which time the survey track extends well over 2000 km. Sensors on gliders measure such physical variables as pressure, temperature, salinity and velocity, biological variables relevant to phytoplankton and zooplankton, and ecologically important chemical variables such as dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrate. The data provided by underwater gliders are a match for regional models of coastal ocean circulation, and progress over the last decade has proven the efficacy of gliders in an observing/modeling system. There are now several sustained regional glider lines and networks, and many more being planned. The authors of this abstract represent 17 of these regional networks. The intention of the OceanGliders Boundary Ocean Observing Network is to provide coordination for a global observing program. The ultimate realization will be a global network of regional networks that monitor boundary current variability across international borders.

BOON (Boundary Ocean Observing Network) Members:

  • Daniel L. Rudnick, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA

  • Jack Barth, Oregon State University, USA

  • Brad de Young, Memorial University, Canada

  • Ilker Fer, University of Bergen, Norway

  • Gustavo Goni, NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, USA

  • Peter M Haugan, University of Bergen, Norway

  • Dave Hebert, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

  • Emma Heslop, SOCIB, Spain

  • Mark Inall, Scottish Marine Institute, UK

  • Shin-ichi Ito, University of Tokyo, Japan

  • Sachihiko Itoh, University of Tokyo, Japan

  • Sen Jan, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

  • Johannes Karstensen, GEOMAR, Germany

  • Jody Klymak, University of Victoria, Canada

  • Gerd Krahmann, GEOMAR, Germany

  • Marjolaine Krug, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa

  • Craig Lee, University of Washington, USA

  • Peter Oke, Ocean and Atmosphere, CSIRO, Australia

  • Charitha Pattiaratchi, University of Western Australia

  • Tetjana Ross, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada

  • Moninya Roughan, UNSW, Australia

  • Bernadette Sloyan, Ocean and Atmosphere, CSIRO, Australia

  • David Smeed, National Oceanography Centre, UK

  • Pierre Testor, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France

  • Joaquin Tintoré, SOCIB and IMEDEA (CSIC-UIB), Spain

  • Robert Todd, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

  • Stephanie Waterman, University of British Columbia, Canada