Stamina in the Stream
Despite a ship strike that caused significant damage and harsh winter
conditions, a surface buoy and mooring have survived a record six months
in the Gulf Stream, recording both atmospheric and ocean
conditions. The mooring was deployed in October 2005 and was
serviced during a recent cruise by WHOI scientists and technicians aboard research vessel Oceanus,
who repaired some of the
meteorological sensors. None of the subsurface components or
the surface buoy itself was changed, and the mooring, designed
for a one-year lifetime, is still on station. Recovery and redeployment
for a second year-long mission is scheduled for November 2006.
Currents can run up to four knots in
the Gulf Stream, and until now no surface mooring deployed in deep water has
survived wind, waves and currents
more than two weeks. It is a major step in
efforts to observe ocean conditions 24/7 in all seasons.