DIMES is composed of a number of different activities, summarized here:

  • Tracer release
  • Microstructure and Finestructure Measurements
  • Isopycnal following RAFOS floats
  • Drake Passage mooring array
  • Shearmeter measurements

    overview/status (7.1 MB)

  • Analysis of POP and OCCAM model output
  • Hydrography, inverse modeling, and Bernoulli inverse
  • Analysis of satellite altimetry


DIMES involves numerical models of all scales, both to help with planning experiment design and data analysis, and also with an aim to eventually improving models used for climate simulations. Here's a summary of current projects, some funded through DIMES and some independently supported. (Web sites and e-mail addresses are listed as points of contact.)

OCCAM Analysis Emily Shuckburgh Effective diffusivities
OCCAM Analysis Dave Stevens Tracer release, effective diffusivities, spice
POP Analysis Alexa Griesel, Julie McClean, Mat Maltrud, Joe LaCasce, Sarah Gille, Janet Sprintall Eulerian and Lagrangian effective diffusivities
Process Studies George Nurser and David Smeed High-resolution process modelling work studying the generation of internal waves by jets and eddy flows over topography, with a view to developing new diapycnal mixing parameterizations.
Process Studies (NICKELS) Jen MacKinnon Internal lee waves
SOSE analysis Ryan Abernathey, John Taylor, Raf Ferrari, John Taylor Nakamura-style diffusivities, Lagrangian diffusivities N/A



How many


What/how they measure

Tracer patch 12 streaks of ~40 kg each Released in the SE Pacific, will end up in the Scotia Sea after around three years in the ACC Levels of tracer in sampled seawater will show its distribution 1, 2, and 3 years after release, allowing calculations of isopycnal and diapycnal mixing.
Isopycnal-following floats 150 Half deployed with the tracer and the other half at same depth 1 year later The floats will be acoustically tracked, with their trajectories showing patterns of isopycnal dispersion in the ACC. Fifteen will take CTD measurements, allowing them to actively track isopycnal surfaces, and these will also surface after 3-4 months.
EM-APEX floats 15 Some in SE Pacific, some in Drake Passage; rise and fall every 2 days taking profiles On surfacing, each float transmits its location, then profile data, to satellites. Profiles add to finestructure data: temperature, conductivity, depth, and velocity over a depth of 1500 meters.
Shearmeter floats 8 Drift with the tracer patch Vanes at both ends of each instrument spins it and creates torque, which it measures, giving data on the speed and direction of moving water masses. These floats will also be acoustically tracked.
Deep-ocean microstructure profile 3 (1 UK-owned), deployed several times each summer Summer cruise locations, including near the mooring cluster Take profiles of temperature and velocity to a resolution of 1 cm, free-falling to a level scientists determine by weighing down its nose, then dropping the weights and rising again. This data will allow estimates of diapycnal diffusivity.
Mooring cluster An array of five groups of instruments Drake Passage ADCP, current meters, and profilers will help investigate the interactions of eddies and internal waves over complex bottom topography. Some instruments take profiles from the ocean floor to 200m above it.

For more information, check out this article article written by Catherine Brewster during her visit to the British Antarctic Survey.