Falkor FK191120

The primary goal of this project has been to investigate the physical consequences of surface slicks on the surface ocean heat budget and mixed layer dynamics.  A complementary but equally important goal is to develop remote sensing algorithms for the detection of a biogeochemically important cyanobacterium Trichodesmium. We proposed the study in the Southwest Pacific near Tonga/Fiji or the Pacific US West Coast where surface slicks are common. Understanding gained from this project will improve models of the diurnal cycles of the mixed-layer surface heat budget and global biogeochemical cycles, and sea surface temperature to improve our understanding of the effect of small-scale features and fractal filaments in satellite imagery. Ship-deployed Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) equipped with hyperspectral visible and near-infrared, and broadband thermal infrared cameras studied the albedos of sea surface biogenic slicks. UAS measured air-sea heat/radiative fluxes, remote sensing reflectance, an autonomous catamaran sampled sea-surface microlayer surfactants, drifters measured the response of the upper ocean temperature, salinity, and turbulence kinetic energy, and samples was taken for measuring biogeochemical rates. The proposed effort is a quantum advance in utilizing UAS technology for science.

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