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Mapping Surface and Deep-Water Ocean Currents

Date: Monday, June 23, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM
Presented by: Jersey Shore Group
Leader:
Location: Warner Student Life Center, Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Middletown
Directions: To get to Brookdale's Lincroft campus, take Parkway Exit 109 to Route 520 West (Newman Springs Road, which becomes E. Main Street at the Lincroft campus). Take the traffic circle into the campus and follow the signs to the Warner Student Life Center (SLC) and parking lot 7, where the meeting will be in the SLC Twin Lights Rooms 1 and 2. Use parking lot 7. As you walk eastward towards the building complex, Warner will be on your left. If lot 7 is full, use parking lots 5 or 6.
Click Here for a campus map

Ethan M. Handel, Research Project Coordinator for Rutgers' Coastal Ocean Observation Lab, and his team members will discuss their work in testing and using state-of-the-art radar systems and underwater drones to map the surface and deep-water currents of the world's oceans. The test radar antennas can be seen at Sandy Hook, Parking Lot E.

NASA, Rutgers and other universities around the world plan a joint effort to use the state-of-the-art equipment to capture the most complete picture yet of the oceans' many mysterious surface and underwater movements - from deepwater currents to migrating fish. The effort also is expected to shed light on the effects of global warming and rising sea levels. Rutgers manages both the surface and underwater programs for NOAA along the New Jersey coastline. The drone program was described in November in the New York Times.

Ocean currents have been compared to huge rivers or "energy conveyor belts." Surface currents distribute warm water, one form of marine energy, while deep water currents distribute nutrients, another form of marine energy. Surface currents have been studied for many centuries, since they could aid or hinder wind-driven vessels. For example, Benjamin Franklin on a trip to Europe mapped the Gulf Current that aided ships sailing to Europe. In contrast, deep water currents were difficult to study until the advent of submersible measuring devices and submarines in World War II, because the currents were critical to undersea warfare. The drone program was described in November in the New York Times.