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SPURS Results and the Future of Salinity Exploration
What have we learned about the SPURS site and what's next? The interdisciplinary cruise undertaken by SPURS scientists involved the coordination of an armada of technology - from in-water instruments to shipboard measurements to satellites in orbit around Earth. Dr. Bingham shows us the results of the team's research, including real data collected during the cruise.

Webinar Archive
Click here for a transcript of the Q&A portion of this video (PDF, 90KB).
  View other videos by this scientist:
Salinity Balance is Like a Bank Account
[vimeo, 01:19]
Validating Aquarius
[vimeo, 01:42]
Model Forecasts and Nowcasts
[vimeo, 01:44]

Concept Map: What Have We Learned About the SPURS Site and What's Next?
This concept map forms the basis of Dr. Bingham's presentation. Hover over the concepts to uncover additional resources, or save this map to your own CLIMB account by clicking on the light blue wrench in the upper left corner and selecting "Copy Map to My Maps".
Applicable Next Generation Science Standards
  • [MS-ESS2-6] Develop and use a model to describe how the unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
  • [HS-ESS2-5] Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
About the Presenter
Fred Bingham 
Dr. Fred Bingham is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His research interests include global distributions of sea surface salinity and large scale regional physical oceanography - the Kuroshio, the western North and Equatorial Pacific, and Onslow Bay, North Carolina.


  Profiling Salinity From the Ship [NASA Earth Observatory]
A workhorse of our voyage is the two primary means of measuring salinity from the ship: the Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (CTD) instruments
Mooring Deployment [NASA Earth Observatory]
The central mooring at the SPURS site is a critical piece of gear - it will provide us with a time series of upper ocean properties at one location over the entire year
The Thermosalinograph,The Bow of the Knorr, and the Chase for Highest Salinity [NASA Earth Observatory]
It is quite an adventure going down to see the inlet for the TSG (thermosalinograph)
Managing SPURS Data [NASA Earth Observatory]
The value of the SPURS dataset comes from analyzing the measurements made by all of the instruments at a variety of time and space scales
Prawlers, Engineers, and the Future of Oceanography at Sea [NASA Earth Observatory]
Seeing the Prawler used in SPURS after years of development is the light at the end of the tunnel
Measurements by Long-Term Autonomous Platforms in SPURS [NASA Earth Observatory]
In order to connect the salinity that Aquarius sees at the ocean surface with processes throughout the ocean, SPURS is devoting resources to understanding of the processes happening in the near-surface layer

  Got Salt? NASA's Salt Mapper Toasts First Birthday [NASA JPL]
This interactive gives visitors a 'look under the hood' at the Aquarius spacecraft and a chance to meet some of the 'salt sleuths' on the Aquarius team
NASA Earth Observatory's Experiments [NASA]
Interactive experiments to teach about the art and science of space-based remote sensing
Blowing Ballast [PBS]
This activity offers 1) a hands-on experience in buoyancy, 2) an observation of a working ballast tank, and 3) an operational definition of blowing ballast
Eyes on Salinity [Maryland Department of Natural Resources]
Students will build a hydrometer and practice skills in measuring salinity in this activity about Chesapeake Bay
What's a Water Column Profile? [NANOOS]
In this activity students explore the relationship between temperature, salinity and density in coastal marine waters
How to Use CTD Data [NOAA]
Students use data from the Okeanos Explorer to create and interpret graphs of temperature, salinity, and depth
Monitoring Our Ocean and Atmosphere [NOAA]
By participating in small group discussion, analyzing oceanic and atmospheric data, and summarizing/applying their findings, students will determine the characteristics of the oceans and atmosphere
A Matter of Density [NOAA]
Given CTD data, students will be able to calculate density and construct density profiles of a water column
Adopt a Drifter Program [NOAA]
Adopt a buoy, tracker drifters, and access lesson plans for middle school, high school, and undergraduate students
Ocean Observing With Gliders [Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute]
Students will investigate the movement of gliders by performing a simple simulation (Word document)
ROV Grid Search [PBS]
This activity offers 1) an experience that recreates the remote exploration of the sea bottom, 2) a hands-on activity using a remote-controlled vehicle, and 3) an exercise in uncovering targets through methodical searching

  How Science Data Are Collected [SPURS]
Answers to questions about how science data are collected, including information about platforms, technology, and the instruments used to make oceanographic measurements on the SPURS cruise
Ocean Instruments [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]
How they work, what they do, and how they do it
Instruments [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]
Information about sensors, samplers, moorings, buoys, floats, and drifters from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
R/V Knorr Scientific Equipment [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]
Winches and wire, cranes and overside handling, boats, scientific instrumentation, navigational equipment, and the SeaBeam - necessary items for a successful cruise
Then and Now: The HMS Challenger Expedition and the "Mountains in the Sea" Expedition [NOAA]
A comparison of modern-day exploration with the late 19-century journey of the HMS Challenger illustrates the progress that science has made in ocean exploration
Project NOPP Drifters [National Oceanographic Partnership Program]
Use data from ocean drifting buoys to integrate ocean science into your classroom
Education: Student Outcomes [NASA Aquarius]
Twenty three student outcomes, addressed by Aquarius EPO materials and aligned with National Science Education Standards, North American Association for Environmental Education standards, and Ocean Literacy standards
How NASA Studies Water [NASA]
NASA missions collect data about the global water cycle, including rain, floods, and tides - using this data, scientists develop or refine their theories about the how air, water, temperature changes, and gravity interact
Physical Oceanographic Measurements [OceanTeacher]
A training resource for data and information management related to oceanography and marine meteorology