What ocean do Lagrangian observing platforms (e.g., Argo and drifting buoys) observe?

Program Code: 

Dr Xiao Hua Wang (hua.wang@adfa.edu.au)

Description of Work: 

In the mid- and high-latitudes the ocean circulation is composed largely of eddies and fronts. In isolation an ocean eddy is relatively stable being in quasi-geostrophic balance and retaining a closed material surface around its core water mass. It is only through the disruption or destruction of this balance through eddy- interactions that an exchange in mass with its environment takes place. Only at these times is it possible for a Lagrangian observing platform to enter or exit the eddy circulation. This poses many interesting questions such as how frequently do these platforms observe eddies and what are the implications for constructing climatologies of the ocean and ocean forecasting. This research would make use of state of the art high resolution ocean models, analysis of altimetry and the in situ Argo and drifting buoy observations available at the Bureau of Meteorology and the global ocean observing system.