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WAVE: Testing the coherence of MOC variabilitity

Principal Investigator: Chris W. Hughes, NOC, Liverpool

deploying moorings

While the 26°N array addresses MOC temporal variability, the WAVE array on the western boundary at around 43°N and the joint array with Woods Hole Oceanographic Insitution's line W were designed to monitor the Deep Western Boundary Current component of the MOC further north, checking for coherent pressure and density signals.

Highly coherent pressure signals were found, but these reflect large-scale barotropic signals and are not a measure of MOC fluctuations. Model studies showed that the MOC is not spatially coherent across dierent latitudes, except on multidecadal time-scales.

Western boundary pressure measurements capture almost all the interannual MOC variability. For Phase II the WAVE array was therefore redesigned so as to attempt a western boundary based measure of the MOC at around 43°N, in collaboration with BIO from 2008 onwards.

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