The FASTNEt consortium was funded to deliver NERC's Ocean Shelf-Edge Exchange programme. Commencing in October 2011, this four year study will combine established observational techniques, such as moorings and CTDs with the very latest in autonomous sampling initiatives — including use of Autosub Long Range and ocean gliders.
The FASTNEt observational data set will span all four seasons and highlight any inter-annual variability in localised exchange processes (including eddying and internal tide transport) at varying ocean shelf edge environments.
In addition to ambitious use of autonomous platforms, FASTNEt will also exploit the very latest in computer modelling capability to integrate these data and develop a new parameterisation of shelf edge exchange, appropriate for regional scale modelling exercises.
Three survey localities on the UK shelf edge have been selected for FASTNEt — the Celtic Sea, Malin and North Scotland shelves. Each was selected for distinctive bathymetric and oceanographic regimes, known to influence exchange.
FASTNEt is led by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) with collaboration involving scientists at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the Universities of St Andrews, Bangor, Liverpool and Plymouth. In addition, there will be strong interactions with partners at other institutes with an interest in the FASTNEt consortium.