The University of Maine Maine In-situ Sound & Color Lab
School of Marine Sciences
The Equatorial Box Project

This study will focus on the equatorial Pacific in a region defined by the coordinates, 8oN-8oS latitude and 125oW-140oW longitude. The perimeter of this 'box' corresponds to 2 longitudinal lines of ATLAS moorings in the NOAA Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) program. Measurements conducted on these moorings and during bi-annual maintenance cruises will provide ground truth data on physical advection of water through our defined 'volume' and on four selected, key carbon cycle components: algal biomass, primary production, particulate organic carbon (POC), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). These carbon components are shared products of 'Conversion' and 'Coupled' models and will thus be used to test model performance.

Perimeter ground truth data will be augmented with a suite of remote sensing data products. A first set of field measurements will be used to set the initial conditions for the models and allow parameterization of critical variables. The remote sensing data will then be used to make predictions, which are a key aspect of this evaluation. Comparisons with subsequent in situ data will then enable an initial assessment into the central question, "To what degree can we confidently detect and predict change?" This assessment will then be further refined through a series of initialization prediction-testing sequences. As the project progresses, mismatches between observations and models or discrepancies between model types will be investigated in terms of underlying forcing fields and forcingresponse relationships to address the question, "What undermining issues are currently our greatest sources of uncertainty?"

  The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
(207) 581-­1110
Website last updated: 18-Mar-14