Articles | Volume 11, issue 2
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 627–654, 2011

Special issue: VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study (VOCALS) (ACP/OS inter-journal...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 627–654, 2011

Research article 21 Jan 2011

Research article | 21 Jan 2011

The VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx): goals, platforms, and field operations

R. Wood1, C. R. Mechoso2, C. S. Bretherton1, R. A. Weller3, B. Huebert4, F. Straneo3, B. A. Albrecht5, H. Coe6, G. Allen6, G. Vaughan6, P. Daum7, C. Fairall8, D. Chand1,*, L. Gallardo Klenner9, R. Garreaud9, C. Grados10, D. S. Covert1, T. S. Bates11, R. Krejci12, L. M. Russell13, S. de Szoeke14, A. Brewer8, S. E. Yuter15, S. R. Springston7, A. Chaigneau17, T. Toniazzo16, P. Minnis18, R. Palikonda23, S. J. Abel19, W. O. J. Brown20, S. Williams20, J. Fochesatto21, J. Brioude8,22, and K. N. Bower6 R. Wood et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
  • 2UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
  • 3Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
  • 4University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, USA
  • 5Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, USA
  • 6School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
  • 7Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, USA
  • 8NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, USA
  • 9Departamento de Geofisica, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • 10Instituto del Mar del Perú, Perú
  • 11NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle, USA
  • 12Dept. of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University, Sweden
  • 13Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA
  • 14Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
  • 15North Carolina State University, Raleigh, USA
  • 16Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK
  • 17L'Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Marseille, France
  • 18NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, USA
  • 19The Met Office, Exeter, UK
  • 20National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, USA
  • 21University of Alaska, Fairbanks, USA
  • 22Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 23Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, USA
  • *currently at: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, USA

Abstract. The VAMOS1 Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx) was an international field program designed to make observations of poorly understood but critical components of the coupled climate system of the southeast Pacific. This region is characterized by strong coastal upwelling, the coolest SSTs in the tropical belt, and is home to the largest subtropical stratocumulus deck on Earth. The field intensive phase of VOCALS-REx took place during October and November 2008 and constitutes a critical part of a broader CLIVAR program (VOCALS) designed to develop and promote scientific activities leading to improved understanding, model simulations, and predictions of the southeastern Pacific (SEP) coupled ocean-atmosphere-land system, on diurnal to interannual timescales. The other major components of VOCALS are a modeling program with a model hierarchy ranging from the local to global scales, and a suite of extended observations from regular research cruises, instrumented moorings, and satellites. The two central themes of VOCALS-REx focus upon (a) links between aerosols, clouds and precipitation and their impacts on marine stratocumulus radiative properties, and (b) physical and chemical couplings between the upper ocean and the lower atmosphere, including the role that mesoscale ocean eddies play. A set of hypotheses designed to be tested with the combined field, monitoring and modeling work in VOCALS is presented here. A further goal of VOCALS-REx is to provide datasets for the evaluation and improvement of large-scale numerical models. VOCALS-REx involved five research aircraft, two ships and two surface sites in northern Chile. We describe the instrument payloads and key mission strategies for these platforms and give a summary of the missions conducted.

1 Variability of the American Monsoon Systems, an international CLIVAR program.

Final-revised paper