The objectives of this study are to analyze ocean dynamics in the western South Pacific and the adjacent Southern Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean. Specifically, our objectives for these three regions are, for the South Pacific Ocean: (1) To estimate the volume transport of the east Australian Current (EAC) along the Australian coast and in the Tasman Front, and to estimate the time variability (on seasonal and interannual time scales) of this transport. (2) To contribute to estimating the meridional heat and freshwater fluxes (and their variability) at about 30 deg S. Good estimates of the transport in the western boundary current are essential for accurate estimates of these fluxes. (3) To determine how the EAC transport (and its extension, the Tasman Front and the East Auckland Current) closes the subtropical gyre of the South Pacific and to better determine the structure at the confluence of this current and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. (4) To examine the structure and time variability of the circulation in the western South Pacific and the adjacent Southern Ocean, particularly at the Tasman Front. For the Indian Ocean: (5) To study the seasonal interannual variations in the strength of the Leeuwin Current. (6) To monitor the Pacific-Indian Ocean throughflow and the South Equatorial and the South Java Currents between northwest Australia and Indonesia. (7) To study the processes that form the water of the permanent oceanic thermocline and, in particular, the way in which new thermocline water enters the permanent thermocline in late winter and early spring as the mixed layer restratifies. For the Southern Ocean: (8) To study the mesoscale and meridional structure of the Southern Ocean between 150 deg E and 170 deg E; in particular, to describe the Antarctic frontal system south of Tasmania and determine its interannual variability; to estimate the exchanges of heat, salt, and other properties between the Indian and Pacific Oceans; and to investigate the annual ventilation of the Antarctic Intermediate Water and Subantarctic Mode Water Masses.
JPL, TOPEX(Poseidon Science Investigations Plan; p 40-42