Drifting Buoys

The surface drifting buoys in the Indian Ocean to meet the design of one buoy in every 5-degree box. As of November 2009, 62 drifters are active in the Indain Ocean north of 40°S and only ten drifters are in the North Indian Ocean. A problem in the Indian Ocean is that the strong Asian summer monsoon winds drive drifters out of the North Indian Ocean. Considering that the drifters are following the flow, the possible option for keeping the required number of drifters are (1) the criteria should be readdressed, (or) (2) a different measuring platform need to be implemented in these regions or (3) a more frequent seeding program is needed to maintain the 5-degree sampling. The design sampling density is to support calibration of satellite SST and to build surface current climatology. To our knowledge, the sampling density required to map surface currents at say monthly time scale has not been determined, but should be to validate surface currents in models and reanalyses.

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