Air-sea interaction tower built off Marthas vineyard
ASIT with platform in place
In the deep waters two miles south of Edgartown on Marthas Vineyard, not far from where, two centuries ago, the likes of Captain Ahab and a thousand others kept their watch for the great white and his kin, we are now searching to understand another potential beast in those parts: the ocean and the weather.
But this is no allegory. Hoping to avoid any recurrence in these sometimes turbulent waters of the horrendous storms so intensely portrayed in Moby Dick as well as The Perfect Storm, the Office of Naval Research has built a tower bristling from top to bottom with sensors. The Air-Sea Interaction Tower will continually measure atmospheric and ocean conditions such as air temperature, humidity, solar radiation and carbon dioxide, as well as water temperature, salinity or salt content, wave height and direction, water circulation, current speed and direction, and sediment transport. It will directly measure momentum, heat, and mass exchange between the atmosphere and ocean. Anchored 50 feet down into the ocean floor, the tower extends 76 feet into the marine atmosphere. It will be maintained and operated by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts and will be connected by undersea cables to WHOIs Marthas Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO).
Gail Cleere | EurekAlert!
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