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Upper Ocean Mooring Data Repository - CMO: Coastal Mixing and Optics Experiment


The Coastal Mixing and Optics Experiment (CMO), funded by the Office Of Naval Research, took place over the New England continental shelf about 100 km south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Upper Ocean Processes Group deployed a moored array with the objective of identifying and understanding the vertical mixing processes which control stratification on broad continental shelves.
The deployment period, August 1996 to June 1997, was intended to capture the breakdown of stratification in the fall and its re-development in spring. The moored array consisted of a heavily instrumented central site and three surrounding sites. Relative to the central site at 70 m depth, the surrounding sites were 10 km inshore (60 m depth), 10 km offshore (80 m depth), and 25 km alongshore (70 m depth).


Centered at approximately 40° 30´N,   70° 30´W, on the New England shelf.
A map is available.


10.5 months, from late July, 1996 to mid June, 1997.

Mooring Specifications:

Each of the four sites contained a surface/subsurface mooring pair, which carried the primary instrumentation, and two guard moorings. Additional instrumentation was deployed at the central site by several different investigators. Only results from the UOP surface/subsurface mooring pairs are presented here.
Mooring details are presented in a table and a schematic drawing.


The surface mooring at the central site was outfitted with two complete sets of meteorological sensors, sufficient for estimating the bulk fluxes of momentum, heat and moisture. The variables observed are listed in the table of meteorological instrumentation. Supplemental meteorological measurements were made at the surrounding sites, but are not reported here.
Temperature, conductivity, and velocity sensors were deployed on the surface/subsurface mooring pairs at each site. The measurements spanned the water column, from a few meters below the surface to a few meters above the bottom. Temperature measurements had the highest vertical resolution (nominally 5 m). The vertical resolution of conductivity and velocity varied from 5 to 20 m. The variables observed are listed in the table of oceanographic instrumentation.


More detailed information and access to data files is organized by data type:
Water Velocity


  • Galbraith N., Plueddemann A., Lentz S., Anderson S., Baumgartner M., and Edson J., 1999: Coastal Mixing and Optics Experiment Moored Array Data Report, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. Tech. Rep. WHOI-99-15, Woods Hole, MA, 162 pp. abstract pdf
  • Galbraith et al., 1997: Coastal Mixing and Optics Experiment: Mooring deployment cruise report, Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. Tech. Rep. WHOI-97-13, 81 pp. abstract pdf
  • WHOI-COFDL CMO web site

Last updated: March 13, 2008