January 25, 2004 to February 29, 2004
Project Location: 
Gulf of Tehuantapec, off southern Mexico's Pacific coast
Project Description: 

When high pressure is over the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean, a circulation sets up forcing strong winds through the Chivela mountain pass, creating an off-shore jet over the Pacific Ocean. The wind can blow out for 500-600 km offshore for several days giving rise to strongly-forced fetch-limited wave conditions. In February 2004, groups from Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), UC Irvine, NASA/EG&G, NCAR and the National Autonomous University of Mexico collaborated to conduct the Gulf of Tehuantepec Experiment (GOTEX) to measure the coupled development of the atmospheric boundary layer and the surface wave field out over the Gulf of Tehuantapec, off southern Mexico's Pacific coast. The NSF/NCAR C-130Q Hercules aircraft was equipped with a suite of sensors for measuring surface waves and wave breaking, including a downward-looking scanning lidar (Airborne Terrain Mapper, or ATM), video cameras, inertial motion sensors, and radome gust probe wind measurements. (Taken from Melville, W.K. "Extreme wave events in the Gulf of Tehuantapec" Pp2 [Available online April 2010 from http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/PubServices/2005pdfs/Melville.pdf])