OMEGA has three main objectives; to determine the three-dimensional ageostrophic circulation at mesoscale (10-100 km) fronts and eddies and quantitatively estimate the vertical velocity, to evaluate the impact of the ageostrophic vertical motion on the biogeochemical properties in the upper 400 m, and to provide the scientific community with a standardised tool for the computation of vertical motions from routine CTD and ADCP data. Vertical motion couples the deep ocean with the near surface layers, providing an enhanced transport route for heat, nutrients and biomass. The distribution of primary production patchiness is driven by mesoscale physics. At these scales, successful research requires interdisciplinary observational strategies OMEGA is a comprehensive proposal combining an observational strategy of remote sensing and in-situ high resolution physical, biological and meteorological measurement with a numerical modelling/data assimilation strategy to quantify the errors involved in the diagnostic analysis of the observational data and make prognostic simulations of mesoscale features.
Mesoscale eddies are ubiquitous in the ocean and the conclusions from OMEGA will be relevant to all ocean regions. However, the Alboran Sea and Almeria-Oran Front have been selected as the experimental area because of favourable environmental conditions and convenience for EC member countries. No one country or organisation could undertake OMEGA on its own. The expertise of the 7 organisations from 5 EC countries making this proposal is ideally suited to the multi-disciplinary research collaboration proposed.
OMEGA brings together recent research under nationally funded projects at all of the organisations involved as partners or named subcontractors. Several of the research scientists involved in this proposal are PI's for ERS2, ADEOS and Topex/Poseidon. In addition the results and conclusions from OMEGA will help to validate and develop high resolution numerical models such as OCCAM and EUROMODEL. Two ship-time proposals have been made (UK and ES), both of which will support three other EC scientific research proposals addressing technology development, biodiversity and large scale circulation. This represents an efficient use of European resources. Additionally, the combined experimental data set will enable long term monitoring of absolute surface currents from satellite observations in this region of the Mediterranean.
Data and results will be shared and discussed by the OMEGA proposers using Email, ftp and 6 monthly progress meetings and workshops. Analysed results, conclusions, datasets, new algorithms and software will be disseminated to Europe and worldwide through 6 monthly reports, scientific papers, a CD-ROM OMEGA atlas and an OMEGA World Wide Web server.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
SO14 3ZH Southampton