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Operations in the South West Pacific Ocean





Glider operations in the South West Pacific are part of the South PacIfique Climate Experiment (SPICE) endorsed by CLIVAR. The SPICE programme benefits from support at the French national level by the LEFE-IDAO, and ANR programs.

Attention has focused on circulation in the southwestern Pacific because of its position athwart a major pathway from the subtropics to the equator able to modulate the ENSO cycle. Few observations are available to diagnose the processes and pathways of transport through the complicated geography of the southwest Pacific, and numerical model results are highly impaired by the lack of validation against in situ data.





The glider missions have been initiated from collaboration between the IRD/LEGOS-Noumea, PMEL and SCRIPPS who provides and operates the SPRAY glider. The experiments began in 2005, and 2006 in the Coral Sea to observe the SEC inflow between Guadalcanal Island (10°S, 160°E) and New Caledonia (21°4'S, 165°2'E). Since 2007 Gliders are continously deployed in the Solomon Sea to observe the western boundary currents at the Papua New guinea coast, and the entering flow between Solomon Island and the southeast extremity of New Guinea.
Since 2010, glider missions, based on SLOCUM and Spray gliders, are also operated by IRD in the Coral sea

List of the Glider missions:

Coral Sea:    Mission 1 (17/07/2005 --> 18/10/2005)
Mission 2 (12/11/2006 -->  01/03/2007)
Mission AltiGlidEx-1 (17/11/2010 --> 8/12/2010)

Solomon Sea:        Mission 3 (18/08/2007 --> 06/11/2007)
Mission 4 (14/11/2007 --> 04/02/2008)
Mission 5 (27/02/2008 --> 18/07/2008)
Mission 6 (04/07/2008 --> 15/10/2008)
Mission 7 (10/11/2008 --> 02/02/2009)
Mission 8 (13/07/2009 --> 01/11/2009
Mission 9 (13/07/2009 --> 31/10/2009)
Mission 10 (07/11/2009 --> 24/02/2010)
Mission 11 (19/04/2010 --> 08/09/2010)
Mission 12 (19/04/2010 --> 13/09/2010)
Mission 13 (28/09/2010 --> 24/01/2011)
Mission 14 (30/01/2011 --> 31/05/2011)
Mission 15 (31/03/2011 --> 12/07/2011)
Mission 16 (10/07/2011 --> 12/08/2011)
Mission 17 (27/07/2011 --> )

Gourdeau L., W. S. Kessler, R. E. Davis, J. Sherman, C. Maes and E. Kestenare, Zonal jets entering the Coral Sea, J. Phys. Oceanogr ., Vol. 38, No. 3, 714-724, 2008
Kessler W.S., L. Gourdeau, R.E. Davis, A High-Resolution Glider Section Across the Pacific South Equatorial Current, Eos Trans. AGU, 87(36), Ocean Sci. Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS25B-14, February 2006.
Gourdeau L., W. Kessler, and R. Davis, The Solomon Sea observed by glider and altimetry, Oceanobs09, Venezia, Sep. 21-25, 2009
Kessler, W., R. Davis, L. Gourdeau, and J. Sherman, Transport in the Solomon Sea measured by an ocean glider in Aug.-Nov. 2007. AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, Dec. 10-14, 2007.
Gourdeau L., G. Eldin, A. Ganachaud, W. Kessler, et R. Davis, Opérations Glider dans le Pacifique ouest. Atelier Expérimentation et Instrumentation, Edition 2007, Lyon, 5-6 avril 2007


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