Interaction with Other Programs in the Region

During the past three years, several national and international programs have been planning oceanographic studies for 1994-1996 in the Arabian Sea. Coordination and cooperation among the various U.S. planning efforts (U.S. JGOFS, WOCE, ONR, and U.S. GLOBEC) and international plans has been extensive. The region selected for the U.S. JGOFS study includes the upwelling zones (both coastal and offshore) off Oman, a central, oligotrophic region, and a domain off central India. The U.S. JGOFS strategy for studying the Arabian Sea includes interdisciplinary process-study cruises; long-term deployment of surface and subsurface moorings with instruments to measure chemical, biological, optical, and physical properties; intensive satellite data acquisition; and numerical modelling. Their focus is a better understanding of the unique biogeochemical characteristics of the region (for additional information on the U.S. JGOFS Arabian Sea program see U.S. JGOFS Planning Report No. 13 (1991) and U.S. JGOFS Arabian Sea Process Study Implementation Plan (1992)). The U.S. WOCE program plans a hydrographic section in the Arabian Sea and plans to deploy moorings and conduct additional studies off both Oman and Somalia. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has announced plans for an Accelerated Research Initiative (ARI) on Forced Upper Ocean Dynamics of the Arabian Sea. The program, to study the response of the physics and biology of the upper ocean of the Arabian Sea to atmospheric forcing of the region, is scheduled to occur in 1994-1995 at the same time as the U.S. JGOFS Arabian Sea process studies.

Formal meetings to plan international JGOFS Arabian Sea studies began in January 1991 in Goa, India. Subsequent meetings took place in Bermuda (October 1991) and onboard the RV Tyro (May 1992). The international planning committee of JGOFS has representatives from Germany (presently, chair), Britain, France, Canada, the Netherlands, United States, Kenya, Oman, Pakistan and India. One goal of the international planning committee is to actively encourage countries bordering the Indian Ocean to participate within the JGOFS Arabian Sea study and, importantly, to encourage regional scientists to continue observations in the Arabian Sea after the concerted JGOFS expeditions of 1994-96 are concluded.

Expeditions to the Arabian Sea have already begun. The Netherlands has been conducting a JGOFS-type investigation of the upwelling off northern Somalia since June 1992. A collaboration with Kenya, India and the U.S., this program includes many of the recommended core JGOFS measurements. Pakistan has begun the North Arabian Environmental and Ecosystem Research (NASEER) program of quarterly cruises making U.S. JGOFS, U.S. GLOBEC and WOCE type observations of hydrography, chemistry, production and biomass in the northern Arabian Sea (see Fig. 19). The NASEER program is scheduled to continue through 1994. Sediment traps have been deployed in the open Arabian Sea since 1986 by a consortium of India, Germany and the U.S. These traps will continue to be deployed throughout the period that JGOFS investigates the Arabian Sea.

Future international JGOFS collaborations will include British and German research vessels. The British vessel RV Discovery plans to conduct JGOFS studies at three sites in May and August 1994. The German vessel RV Meteor plans to participate in Arabian Sea JGOFS studies in May and August 1995. Additional studies by India, using the RV Sagar Kanya, have not yet been finalized. U.S. plans call for two research vessels, the RV T. G. Thompson and the RV M. Baldridge, to participate in combined U.S. GLOBEC, U.S. JGOFS, and ONR investigations in the Arabian Sea in 1995. The Thompson will begin operations in October 1994 and finish in January 1996 according to the present schedule (for details see U.S. JGOFS Arabian Sea Process Study Implementation Plan (1992)). The Baldridge will have cruises in the Arabian Sea in March, July and August 1995 (Fig. 19). Investigations aboard the Baldridge will focus on biological processes in the upper water column (above the suboxic zone) and thus are relevant to both U.S. GLOBEC and U.S. JGOFS investigations.

The Netherlands' vessel RV Tyro may return to the Arabian Sea in June 1996. Preliminary planning for this has begun and has been strongly encouraged for two reasons. First, if that happens, then the international JGOFS program will have collected JGOFS observations during three successive southwest monsoons. Since the strength of the southwest monsoon varies interannually (as discussed above), coverage of the region during multiple southwest monsoons is essential. Second, if the Tyro returns in 1996, it could retrieve moorings in October 1996. This would permit sediment traps and moorings to be deployed through two southwest monsoons. Furthermore, the preliminary plan for 1996 Tyro investigations includes studies of the distribution and activity of Calanoides carinatus in the post-upwelling season (September-November inclusive) off Oman, Sri Lanka and Java. Such studies are certainly of interest to U.S. GLOBEC.

The Arabian Sea was first suggested as a region of interest to U.S. GLOBEC by Don Olson. Subsequently, Sharon Smith and Don Olson presented to the U.S. GLOBEC Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) the rationale for conducting studies in the Arabian Sea. In March 1992 the U.S. GLOBEC SSC agreed to sponsor a planning meeting to discuss U.S. GLOBEC relevant scientific research in the Arabian Sea. That meeting was held in Denver in June 1992. Its results and recommendations are included within this report (Appendices A-D).

Planning for Arabian Sea studies by other U.S. national programs (U.S. JGOFS and the ONR/ARI) began earlier (as early as July 1987 for U.S. JGOFS) than did U.S. GLOBEC planning. The ONR-ARI and U.S. JGOFS Arabian Sea programs have both entered their implementation phases; both are actively soliciting proposals and they continue to develop cooperatively. At a recent meeting a consensus was reached regarding the locations and types of moorings to be deployed in the Arabian Sea by U.S. JGOFS and ONR (Figure 18). The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) World Hydrographic Program (WHP) plans to survey the Indian Ocean in FY 1995. The northern portion of WHP line I7 transects the Arabian Sea region of interest identified by U.S. JGOFS (Fig. 20). As presently conceived, WOCE plans to occupy line I7 during the southwest monsoon of 1995. Hydrographic observations along line I7 by U.S. JGOFS and/or U.S. GLOBEC cruises in the northern Arabian Sea will enable WOCE to achieve their goal of repeated hydrographic observations in the Arabian Sea. WOCE line I1 provided the southern boundary for bulk calculations of transport and properties which will useful for calculating U.S. JGOFS carbon and particulate budgets. Hydrographic and meteorological data collected along WOCE line I1 may be of value to U.S. GLOBEC investigations of the Arabian Sea as well.

During the planning activities for Arabian Sea research that have taken place from March 1990 to present, Sharon Smith has acted as liaison among the U.S. JGOFS, international JGOFS, U.S. WOCE, ONR, NOAA, Pakistan's NASEER, the Netherlands', and the U.S. GLOBEC programs. Smith has been only one contact between the various programs; there are others as well. This liaison has permitted timely exchange of information among the various programs so that Arabian Sea studies planned for the mid-1990's are coordinated and integrated both nationally and internationally. The results of this effort are best examplified by examining Figure 19, which shows a chart of the cruise tracks anticipated or ongoing within the Arabian Sea, and Figure 21, which shows the seasonal cruise coverage anticipated during 1994-1996.