OSCAR dataset information page

Short Description

Real time current of the ocean surface

Statement: Ocean Surface Current Analyses - Real time

Abstract: This project is developing a processing system and data center to provide operational ocean surface velocity fields from satellite altimeter and vector wind data.

The regional focus will be the tropical Pacific, where we will demonstrate the value for a variety of users, specifically fisheries management and recruitment, monitoring debris drift, larvae drift, oil spills, fronts and eddies, as well as on-going large scale ENSO monitoring, diagnostics and prediction. We will encourage additional uses in search and rescue, naval and maritime operations. The data will be subjected to extensive validation and error analysis, and applied to various ocean, climate and dynamic basic research problems. The user base derives from the NOAA CoastWatch and climate prediction programs, the broad research community, the Navy's operational ocean analysis program, and other civilian uses. The end product is to leave in place a turnkey system running at NOAA/NESDIS, with an established user clientele and easy internet data access.

The method to derive surface currents with satellite altimeter and scatterometer data is the outcome of several years NASA sponsored research.

The proposed project will transition that capability to operational oceanographic applications. The end product will be velocity maps updated daily, with a goal for eventual 2-day maximum delay from time of satellite measurement. Grid resolution will be 100 km for the basin scale, and finer resolution in the vicinity of the Pacific Islands. The team consists of private non-profit, educational and government partners with broad experience and familiarity with the data, and the scientific and technical issues. Two Partners are the original developers of the surface current derivation techniques, and two are closely tied to satellite data sources and primary processing centers. Others represent NOAA/NESDIS, Climate Prediction Center, CoastWatch, NMFS and the Navy to evaluate uses and applications.

Data format

Data type: Oceanography
Data origin: Measured
Data format:
Other format: NetCDF
Data resolution: 100km or finer for regional scale

Data Coverage

Spatial data coverage: Oceans of the World
Temporal data coverage: Time series
Time period covered: Numerous options


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