University Of Tasmania
142930 - Optimizing mooring placement to constrain southern ocean air-sea fluxes.pdf (23.46 MB)
Download file

Optimizing mooring placement to constrain southern ocean air-sea fluxes

Download (23.46 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 21:14 authored by Wei, Y, Gille, ST, Mazloff, MR, Tamsitt, V, Swart, S, Chen, D, Newman, L

Proposals from multiple nations to deploy air–sea flux moorings in the Southern Ocean have raised the question of how to optimize the placement of these moorings in order to maximize their utility, both as contributors to the network of observations assimilated in numerical weather prediction and also as a means to study a broad range of processes driving air–sea fluxes. This study, developed as a contribution to the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), proposes criteria that can be used to determine mooring siting to obtain best estimates of net air–sea heat flux (Qnet). Flux moorings are envisioned as one component of a multiplatform observing system, providing valuable in situ point time series measurements to be used alongside satellite data and observations from autonomous platforms and ships. Assimilating models (e.g., numerical weather prediction and reanalysis products) then offer the ability to synthesize the observing system and map properties between observations. This paper develops a framework for designing mooring array configurations to maximize the independence and utility of observations. As a test case, within the meridional band from 35° to 65°S we select eight mooring sites optimized to explain the largest fraction of the total variance (and thus to ensure the least variance of residual components) in the area south of 20°S. Results yield different optimal mooring sites for low-frequency interannual heat fluxes compared with higher-frequency subseasonal fluxes. With eight moorings, we could explain a maximum of 24.6% of high-frequency Qnet variability or 44.7% of low-frequency Qnet variability.


Publication title

Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Amer Meteorological Soc

Place of publication

45 Beacon St, Boston, USA, Ma, 02108-3693

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 American Meteorological Society. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Antarctic and Southern Ocean oceanic processes

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania