What are UOT data?
In the most general sense, upper ocean thermal data are measurements made in the top 1 to 2 kilometers of the ocean. Two important upper ocean measurements are temperature and salinity. These variables are measured at the ocean surface using floating buoys, sensors mounted on ship hulls, or satellite infrared imagery. Below the surface, measurements are made using expendable probes (XBT's or XCTD's), moored buoys or sub-surface floats (either vertically profiling or drifting at a specific depth or density.
A fairly typical example of a temperature profile in the Atlantic Ocean
is shown in Figure 1. This Figure shows the temperature of the water as a
function of depth below the sea-surface. This particular profile was
taken in December 1997 aboard a volunteer Merchant Ship called the M/V
Morelos at about 26°N, 74°W in the Altantic Ocean as part of AOMLs
high density XBT project. The temperature profile is typical in that near
the surface of the ocean the temperature is warmer (here greater than 25°C
or about 78°F) and the temperature gradually decreases with increasing
depth away from the sea-surface (here the temperature decreases to less
than 10°C or less than 50°F by 700m).