Project overview

A SeaSoar package awaits deployment on deck
A SeaSoar package awaits deployment on deck ©

The OSMOSIS consortium was funded to deliver NERC’s Ocean Surface Boundary Layer (OSBL) programme. Commencing in 2011, this multiple year study will combine traditional observational techniques, such as moorings and CTDs, with the latest autonomous sampling technologies (including ocean gliders), capable of delivering near real-time scientific measurements through the water column.

The OSMOSIS data set will contain high-resolution vertical measurements, which will shed light on the complex turbulent processes that drive the deepening of the OSBL and similarly the sub-mesoscale processes promoting OSBL re-stratification. Continuous mooring and glider measurements over a complete annual cycle will also provide invaluable insight into how the OSBL evolves over time.

Preliminary work in the Clyde Sea will be followed by the principal observational campaign for OSMOSIS at the long-established Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) observatory. Collectively, these observations will allow scientists to develop new parameterisations of the processes governing the OSBL and to integrate and evaluate these in state-of-the-art coupled climate models on varying scales. Overall, it is hoped that OSMOSIS will deliver significant improvements to weather and climate predictions.

OSMOSIS involves collaborations between scientists at various universities (Reading, Oxford, Bangor, Southampton and East Anglia) together with researchers at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). In addition, there are a number of project partners linked to the consortium.