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Eric A. D'Asaro and Craig McNeil

Abstract

The calibration accuracy and stability of three Aanderaa 3835 optodes and three Sea-Bird Electronics SBE-43 oxygen sensors were evaluated over four years using in situ and laboratory calibrations. The sensors were mostly in storage, being in the ocean for typically only a few weeks per year and operated for only a few days per year. Both sensors measure partial pressure of oxygen, or equivalently saturation at standard pressure; results are expressed in this variable. It is assumed that sensor drift occurs in the oxygen sensitivity of the sensors, not the temperature compensation; this is well justified for the SBE-43 based on multiple calibrations. Neither sensor had significant long-term drift in output when sampling anoxic water. Sensor output at 100% saturation differed from the factory calibrations by up to ±6% (averaging −2.3% ± 3%) for the SBE-43 and up to −12.6% for the optodes. The optode output at 100% saturation is well described by a single decaying exponential with a decay constant of approximately 2 yr and an amplitude of 28%. The mechanism of this drift is unknown but is not primarily due to sensor operation. It may be different from that experienced by sensors continuously deployed in the ocean. Thus, although the optodes in this study did not have a stable calibration, their drift was stable and, once calibrated, allowed optode and SBE-43 pairs mounted on the same autonomous floats to be calibrated to an accuracy of ±0.4% over a 4-yr period.

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Craig McNeil, Eric D’Asaro, Bruce Johnson, and Matthew Horn

Abstract

The development and testing of a new, fast response, profiling gas tension device (GTD) that measures total dissolved air pressure is presented. The new GTD equilibrates a sample volume of air using a newly developed (patent pending) tubular silicone polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane interface. The membrane interface is long, flexible, tubular, and is contained within a seawater-flushed hose. The membrane interface communicates pressure to a precise pressure gauge using low dead-volume stainless steel tubing. The pressure sensor and associated electronics are located remotely from the membrane interface. The new GTD has an operating depth in seawater of 0–300 m. The sensor was integrated onto an upper-ocean mixed layer, neutrally buoyant float, and used in air–sea gas exchange studies. Results of laboratory and pressure tank tests are presented to show response characteristics of the device. A significant hydrostatic response of the instrument was observed over the depth range of 0–9 m, and explained in terms of expulsion (or absorption) of dissolved air from the membrane after it is compressed (or decompressed). This undesirable feature of the device is unavoidable since a large exposed surface area of membrane is required to provide a rapid response. The minimum isothermal response time varies from (2 ± 1) min near the sea surface to (8 ± 2) min at 60-m depth. Results of field tests, performed in Puget Sound, Washington, during the summer of 2004, are reported, and include preliminary comparisons with mass-spectrometric analysis of in situ water samples analyzed for dissolved N2 and Ar. These tests served as preparations for deployment of two floats by aircraft into the advancing path of Hurricane Frances during September 2004 in the northwest Atlantic. The sensors performed remarkably well in the field. A model of the dynamical response of the GTD to changing hydrostatic pressure that accounts for membrane compressibility effects is presented. The model is used to correct the transient response of the GTD to enable a more precise measurement of gas tension when the float was profiling in the upper-ocean mixed layer beneath the hurricane.

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Ian M. Brooks, Margaret J. Yelland, Robert C. Upstill-Goddard, Philip D. Nightingale, Steve Archer, Eric d'Asaro, Rachael Beale, Cory Beatty, Byron Blomquist, A. Anthony Bloom, Barbara J. Brooks, John Cluderay, David Coles, John Dacey, Michael Degrandpre, Jo Dixon, William M. Drennan, Joseph Gabriele, Laura Goldson, Nick Hardman-Mountford, Martin K. Hill, Matt Horn, Ping-Chang Hsueh, Barry Huebert, Gerrit De Leeuw, Timothy G. Leighton, Malcolm Liddicoat, Justin J. N. Lingard, Craig Mcneil, James B. Mcquaid, Ben I. Moat, Gerald Moore, Craig Neill, Sarah J. Norris, Simon O'Doherty, Robin W. Pascal, John Prytherch, Mike Rebozo, Erik Sahlee, Matt Salter, Ute Schuster, Ingunn Skjelvan, Hans Slagter, Michael H. Smith, Paul D. Smith, Meric Srokosz, John A. Stephens, Peter K. Taylor, Maciej Telszewski, Roisin Walsh, Brian Ward, David K. Woolf, Dickon Young, and Henk Zemmelink

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Ian M. Brooks, Margaret J. Yelland, Robert C. Upstill-Goddard, Philip D. Nightingale, Steve Archer, Eric d'Asaro, Rachael Beale, Cory Beatty, Byron Blomquist, A. Anthony Bloom, Barbara J. Brooks, John Cluderay, David Coles, John Dacey, Michael DeGrandpre, Jo Dixon, William M. Drennan, Joseph Gabriele, Laura Goldson, Nick Hardman-Mountford, Martin K. Hill, Matt Horn, Ping-Chang Hsueh, Barry Huebert, Gerrit de Leeuw, Timothy G. Leighton, Malcolm Liddicoat, Justin J. N. Lingard, Craig McNeil, James B. McQuaid, Ben I. Moat, Gerald Moore, Craig Neill, Sarah J. Norris, Simon O'Doherty, Robin W. Pascal, John Prytherch, Mike Rebozo, Erik Sahlee, Matt Salter, Ute Schuster, Ingunn Skjelvan, Hans Slagter, Michael H. Smith, Paul D. Smith, Meric Srokosz, John A. Stephens, Peter K. Taylor, Maciej Telszewski, Roisin Walsh, Brian Ward, David K. Woolf, Dickon Young, and Henk Zemmelink

As part of the U.K. contribution to the international Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study, a series of three related projects—DOGEE, SEASAW, and HiWASE—undertook experimental studies of the processes controlling the physical exchange of gases and sea spray aerosol at the sea surface. The studies share a common goal: to reduce the high degree of uncertainty in current parameterization schemes. The wide variety of measurements made during the studies, which incorporated tracer and surfactant release experiments, included direct eddy correlation fluxes, detailed wave spectra, wind history, photographic retrievals of whitecap fraction, aerosolsize spectra and composition, surfactant concentration, and bubble populations in the ocean mixed layer. Measurements were made during three cruises in the northeast Atlantic on the RRS Discovery during 2006 and 2007; a fourth campaign has been making continuous measurements on the Norwegian weather ship Polarfront since September 2006. This paper provides an overview of the three projects and some of the highlights of the measurement campaigns.

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