Presented at the 2012 AGU Fall MeetingA multi-national study of the surface salinity maximum of the North Atlantic was initiated in 2012. We are seeking answers to basic questions about how the salinity maximum is maintained. The Salinity maximum occurs in a region where evaporation is large and precipitation small, where winds drive convergent surface flow and eddy kinetic energy is low. We are attempting to ascertain the relative roles of lateral and vertical mixing in dissipating the high salinities built up by surface water loss. The field program utilizes a suite of autonomous gliders, floats, drifters and moorings as well as ship operations. Real-time model runs incorporate satellite and in-situ data and provide guidance to the shipboard sampling. Results from the first cruise in September-October 2012 will be presented.