Along with the large scale mean features, there is a lot of high-frequency variability in the data. This is a plot showing depth and time dependence of the east-component of velocity and shear magnitude from the Gould winter cruise, LMG-0106 (Process Site #3). Interpretation of the variability is really only possible when the vessel is stationary or only slowly moving for a significant time interval. In general, this only occurs during the Gould process sites.

In this example, we see a strong semidiurnal oscillation. From checking its period, we can see that this oscillation is clearly inertial (period ~13 h), not tidal (periods of ~12.42 h and 12.00 h). The currents are up to 30 cm/s in the surface mixed layer, and weaker but still significant in the lower layer (stratification is shown in the left-hand panels).   From a moving platform like the Palmer survey cruises, oscillations this strong will mask all but the strongest mean flows.

The high shear across the pycnocline near 110 m suggests to us that there is a potential for mixing to occur through the onset of dynamical instabilities.  We look at this in the next slides.