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Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS)

SPURS is a pair of oceanographic field experiments addressing essential role of the ocean in the global water cycle using a plethora of oceanographic equipment and technology, including salinity-sensing satellites, research cruises, floats, drifters, autonomous gliders and moorings. Through careful design and international collaboration, researchers are studying salinity changes that span thousands of miles together with those happening in the top centimeter of the ocean. Together, these campaigns are providing much-needed science to improve our basic understanding of the water cycle over the oceans and its ties to climate.


The 2012-2013 SPURS-1 field campaign in the North Atlantic focused on a high salinity, high evaporation region, the black box on the right. A recent issue of   Oceanography Magazine       highlights some of the early exciting insights researchers have gained. Analysis of the SPURS-1 data is ongoing.


The boxed area on the left shows the region of the tropical Pacific where   SPURS-2 is set to take place in 2016-2017. The focal point of the study is the center of the low surface salinity belt associated with the heavy rainfall of the intertropical convergence zone. More information about the science behind SPURS-2 can be found in the white paper