20120904 & 05 SPURS
A NASA-sponsored expedition is set to sail to the North Atlantic's saltiest spot to get a detailed, 3-D picture of how salt content fluctuates in the ocean's upper layers and how these variations are related to shifts in rainfall patterns around the planet.

The research voyage is part of a multi-year mission, dubbed the Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study (SPURS), which will deploy multiple instruments in different regions of the ocean. The new data also will help calibrate the salinity measurements NASA's Aquarius instrument has been collecting from space since August 2011.

SPURS scientists aboard the research vessel Knorr leave Sept. 6 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., and head toward a spot known as the Atlantic surface salinity maximum, located halfway between the Bahamas and the western coast of North Africa. The researchers will spend about three weeks on site deploying instruments and taking salinity, temperature and other measurements, before sailing to the Azores to complete the voyage on Oct. 9.

For more information on the SPURS mission, visit: spurs.jpl.nasa.gov/SPURS

For more information on Aquarius, visit: www.nasa.gov/aquarius

Regular blog updates from the SPURS expedition will be posted at: go.nasa.gov/PuyO5q

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