The Mobile Ocean

Friday 24 January 2020 - 13:00
NOC Southampton - Henry Charnock Lecture Theatre (Waterfront Campus).
Bob Marsh

Ocean currents shape the marine world, familiar to us as steady named features, yet intrinsically chaotic. Over the last 200 years, oceanographers have refined the measurement of ocean currents, yet still they challenge our latest technologies. In the absence of comprehensive fields of direct measurements, ocean models provide rich datasets from which we can track a diverse range of flows with virtual particles. The extent and character of ocean currents is revealed in four different “drift stories”, involving turtles, seaweed, pumice and icebergs. In each case, particles reveal pathways, timescales, and implied consequences of ocean currents. A common theme in such analysis is connectivity. Connecting us to the oceans are flows through rivers and marginal seas. Within the ocean, currents connect water masses across the regions through which they transform in property, across latitudes and climate zones. Piecing all this together - connecting the connectivity - our familiar global view of ocean circulation and climate can be re-visited as a collection of local flows, each with a different drift story to tell.

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Friday seminars