Glider Observations of the Properties, Circulation and Formation of Water Masses on the Rockall Plateau in the North Atlantic.

Loic Houpert, Stefan Gary, Mark Inall, William Johns, Marie Porter, Estelle Dumont, Stuart Cunningham

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The Overturning in Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP) is an international collaboration with the overarching goal of measuring the full-depth mass fluxes associated with the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation), as well as meridional heat and fresh-water fluxes. Through the deployment of moorings and gliders, UK-OSNAP is part of this international partnership to maintain a transoceanic observing system in the subpolar north Atlantic (the OSNAP array).

We present here the first year and a half of UK-OSNAP glider missions on the Rockall Plateau in the North Atlantic, along the section located at 58°N, between 22°W and 15°W. Between July 2014 and September 2015, 10 gliders sections were realized on the Rockall Plateau. The depth-averaged current estimated from gliders shows very strong values (up to 45cm.s-1) associated with meso-scale variability due particularly to eddies and water mass formation. Glider data also reveal a deep mixed layer in February/March 2015 up to 600m associated with the formation of the 27.3σθ and 27.4σθ Subpolar Mode Waters.

The variability of the meridional transport of heat, salt and mass on the Rockall Plateau are also discussed. Relative and absolute geostrophic transports are calculated from the glider data and from the combination of the glider data and the data from mooring M4 located in the Iceland Basin (58°N, 21°W).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2016
EventOcean Sciences Meeting - , United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Mar 2008 → …


ConferenceOcean Sciences Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period2/03/08 → …


  • Oceanography
  • observations
  • gliders
  • climate
  • ocean circulation
  • North Atlantic


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