The BEST (Benguela Source and Transport) project was a field program from June 1992 to November 1993, consisting of moored instruments and three hydrographic surveys, designed to address questions about the Benguela Current:
- What is the transport, and what are the sources, of the Benguela Current and how do they vary with time?
- What is the dominant means of transfer of Agulhas water into the Atlantic?
- What is the interaction of the Agulhas eddy field with the large scale circulation?
Principal investigators were Arnold Gordon, Silvia Garzoli and Dale Pillsbury. From WOCE Notes (Vol. 6, 1994, pp. 10–15):
- The BEST (Benguela Source and Transport) project was designed to investigate the form of the Benguela Current and ratio of the Agulhas Current and South Atlantic Current source waters masses. The transport of the Benguela Current and its variability is measured by a moored array of instruments as well as analysis of the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite altimeter and conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) density field observations. The source of the water is determined by analysis of the water mass properties measured from CTD observations.
- To accomplish the BEST objectives, an extensive field program was carried out between June 1992 and November 1993. The field work consisted of three hydrographic surveys and a moored array of inverted echo sounders (IES), inverted echo sounders with pressure gauges (PIES) and current meter moorings (CMM). The BEST mooring array was deployed in June 1992 and, during October/November 1993, 4 PIES and 4 current meter moorings (CMM) along 30S, and 2 IES at the edges of the line Cape Town 37.5S, 12.3E were recovered.
- The BEST objectives contribute to the WOCE international plan. The 30S array will provide the transport information of the WOCE ACM-4 mooring , as called for in the WOCE science plan, 1988. Paired with ACM-3 in the Brazil Current (part of the German WOCE program) the BEST 30S mooring array will aid in accomplishing the WOCE South Atlantic heat flux line objectives. The IES deployed off Cape Town will help to relate the Algulhas Retroflection characteristics to the transport across 30S. The main hydrographic work in the Agulhas Retroflection region and in the intervening region will define the water mass characteristics of the Benguela Current and assess the relative contributions of South Atlantic and Indian Ocean water to the Benguela Current.
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