Ocean Surface Currents (OSCAR)

Oscar
Visualizer
Tutorial

region selected from Tropical Pacific Region Menu





 
OSCAR visualization use link to request help
0,0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 0,10 0,11 0,12 0,13 0,14 0,15 0,16 0,17 0,18 0,19 0,20 0,21 0,22 0,23 0,24 0,25 0,26 0,27 1,0 1,1 1,2 1,3 1,4 1,5 1,6 1,7 1,8 1,9 1,10 1,11 1,12 1,13 1,14 1,15 1,16 1,17 1,18 1,19 1,20 1,21 1,22 1,23 1,24 1,25 1,26 1,27 2,0 2,1 2,2 2,3 2,4 2,5 2,6 2,7 2,8 2,9 2,10 2,11 2,12 2,13 2,14 2,15 2,16 2,17 2,18 2,19 2,20 2,21 2,22 2,23 2,24 2,25 2,26 2,27 3,0 3,1 3,2 3,3 3,4 3,5 3,6 3,7 3,8 3,9 3,10 3,11 3,12 3,13 3,14 3,15 3,16 3,17 3,18 3,19 3,20 3,21 3,22 3,23 3,24 3,25 3,26 3,27 4,0 4,1 4,2 4,3 4,4 4,5 4,6 4,7 4,8 4,9 4,10 4,11 4,12 4,13 4,14 4,15 4,16 4,17 4,18 4,19 4,20 4,21 4,22 4,23 4,24 4,25 4,26 4,27 5,0 5,1 5,2 5,3 5,4 5,5 5,6 5,7 5,8 5,9 5,10 5,11 5,12 5,13 5,14 5,15 5,16 5,17 5,18 5,19 5,20 5,21 5,22 5,23 5,24 5,25 5,26 5,27 6,0 6,1 6,2 6,3 6,4 6,5 6,6 6,7 6,8 6,9 6,10 6,11 6,12 6,13 6,14 6,15 6,16 6,17 6,18 6,19 6,20 6,21 6,22 6,23 6,24 6,25 6,26 6,27 7,0 7,1 7,2 7,3 7,4 7,5 7,6 7,7 7,8 7,9 7,10 7,11 7,12 7,13 7,14 7,15 7,16 7,17 7,18 7,19 7,20 7,21 7,22 7,23 7,24 7,25 7,26 7,27 8,0 8,1 8,2 8,3 8,4 8,5 8,6 8,7 8,8 8,9 8,10 8,11 8,12 8,13 8,14 8,15 8,16 8,17 8,18 8,19 8,20 8,21 8,22 8,23 8,24 8,25 8,26 8,27 9,0 9,1 9,2 9,3 9,4 9,5 9,6 9,7 9,8 9,9 9,10 9,11 9,12 9,13 9,14 9,15 9,16 9,17 9,18 9,19 9,20 9,21 9,22 9,23 9,24 9,25 9,26 9,27 10,0 10,1 10,2 10,3 10,4 10,5 10,6 10,7 10,8 10,9 10,10 10,11 10,12 10,13 10,14 10,15 10,16 10,17 10,18 10,19 10,20 10,21 10,22 10,23 10,24 10,25 10,26 10,27 11,0 11,1 11,2 11,3 11,4 11,5 11,6 11,7 11,8 11,9 11,10 11,11 11,12 11,13 11,14 11,15 11,16 11,17 11,18 11,19 11,20 11,21 11,22 11,23 11,24 11,25 11,26 11,27 12,0 12,1 12,2 12,3 12,4 12,5 12,6 12,7 12,8 12,9 12,10 12,11 12,12 12,13 12,14 12,15 12,16 12,17 12,18 12,19 12,20 12,21 12,22 12,23 12,24 12,25 12,26 12,27 13,0 13,1 13,2 13,3 13,4 13,5 13,6 13,7 13,8 13,9 13,10 13,11 13,12 13,13 13,14 13,15 13,16 13,17 13,18 13,19 13,20 13,21 13,22 13,23 13,24 13,25 13,26 13,27 14,0 14,1 14,2 14,3 14,4 14,5 14,6 14,7 14,8 14,9 14,10 14,11 14,12 14,13 14,14 14,15 14,16 14,17 14,18 14,19 14,20 14,21 14,22 14,23 14,24 14,25 14,26 14,27 15,0 15,1 15,2 15,3 15,4 15,5 15,6 15,7 15,8 15,9 15,10 15,11 15,12 15,13 15,14 15,15 15,16 15,17 15,18 15,19 15,20 15,21 15,22 15,23 15,24 15,25 15,26 15,27 16,0 16,1 16,2 16,3 16,4 16,5 16,6 16,7 16,8 16,9 16,10 16,11 16,12 16,13 16,14 16,15 16,16 16,17 16,18 16,19 16,20 16,21 16,22 16,23 16,24 16,25 16,26 16,27 17,0 17,1 17,2 17,3 17,4 17,5 17,6 17,7 17,8 17,9 17,10 17,11 17,12 17,13 17,14 17,15 17,16 17,17 17,18 17,19 17,20 17,21 17,22 17,23 17,24 17,25 17,26 17,27 18,0 18,1 18,2 18,3 18,4 18,5 18,6 18,7 18,8 18,9 18,10 18,11 18,12 18,13 18,14 18,15 18,16 18,17 18,18 18,19 18,20 18,21 18,22 18,23 18,24 18,25 18,26 18,27 19,0 19,1 19,2 19,3 19,4 19,5 19,6 19,7 19,8 19,9 19,10 19,11 19,12 19,13 19,14 19,15 19,16 19,17 19,18 19,19 19,20 19,21 19,22 19,23 19,24 19,25 19,26 19,27 20,0 20,1 20,2 20,3 20,4 20,5 20,6 20,7 20,8 20,9 20,10 20,11 20,12 20,13 20,14 20,15 20,16 20,17 20,18 20,19 20,20 20,21 20,22 20,23 20,24 20,25 20,26 20,27 21,0 21,1 21,2 21,3 21,4 21,5 21,6 21,7 21,8 21,9 21,10 21,11 21,12 21,13 21,14 21,15 21,16 21,17 21,18 21,19 21,20 21,21 21,22 21,23 21,24 21,25 21,26 21,27 22,0 22,1 22,2 22,3 22,4 22,5 22,6 22,7 22,8 22,9 22,10 22,11 22,12 22,13 22,14 22,15 22,16 22,17 22,18 22,19 22,20 22,21 22,22 22,23 22,24 22,25 22,26 22,27 23,0 23,1 23,2 23,3 23,4 23,5 23,6 23,7 23,8 23,9 23,10 23,11 23,12 23,13 23,14 23,15 23,16 23,17 23,18 23,19 23,20 23,21 23,22 23,23 23,24 23,25 23,26 23,27 24,0 24,1 24,2 24,3 24,4 24,5 24,6 24,7 24,8 24,9 24,10 24,11 24,12 24,13 24,14 24,15 24,16 24,17 24,18 24,19 24,20 24,21 24,22 24,23 24,24 24,25 24,26 24,27 25,0 25,1 25,2 25,3 25,4 25,5 25,6 25,7 25,8 25,9 25,10 25,11 25,12 25,13 25,14 25,15 25,16 25,17 25,18 25,19 25,20 25,21 25,22 25,23 25,24 25,25 25,26 25,27 26,0 26,1 26,2 26,3 26,4 26,5 26,6 26,7 26,8 26,9 26,10 26,11 26,12 26,13 26,14 26,15 26,16 26,17 26,18 26,19 26,20 26,21 26,22 26,23 26,24 26,25 26,26 26,27 27,0 27,1 27,2 27,3 27,4 27,5 27,6 27,7 27,8 27,9 27,10 27,11 27,12 27,13 27,14 27,15 27,16 27,17 27,18 27,19 27,20 27,21 27,22 27,23 27,24 27,25 27,26 27,27 28,0 28,1 28,2 28,3 28,4 28,5 28,6 28,7 28,8 28,9 28,10 28,11 28,12 28,13 28,14 28,15 28,16 28,17 28,18 28,19 28,20 28,21 28,22 28,23 28,24 28,25 28,26 28,27 29,0 29,1 29,2 29,3 29,4 29,5 29,6 29,7 29,8 29,9 29,10 29,11 29,12 29,13 29,14 29,15 29,16 29,17 29,18 29,19 29,20 29,21 29,22 29,23 29,24 29,25 29,26 29,27 30,0 30,1 30,2 30,3 30,4 30,5 30,6 30,7 30,8 30,9 30,10 30,11 30,12 30,13 30,14 30,15 30,16 30,17 30,18 30,19 30,20 30,21 30,22 30,23 30,24 30,25 30,26 30,27 31,0 31,1 31,2 31,3 31,4 31,5 31,6 31,7 31,8 31,9 31,10 31,11 31,12 31,13 31,14 31,15 31,16 31,17 31,18 31,19 31,20 31,21 31,22 31,23 31,24 31,25 31,26 31,27 32,0 32,1 32,2 32,3 32,4 32,5 32,6 32,7 32,8 32,9 32,10 32,11 32,12 32,13 32,14 32,15 32,16 32,17 32,18 32,19 32,20 32,21 32,22 32,23 32,24 32,25 32,26 32,27 33,0 33,1 33,2 33,3 33,4 33,5 33,6 33,7 33,8 33,9 33,10 33,11 33,12 33,13 33,14 33,15 33,16 33,17 33,18 33,19 33,20 33,21 33,22 33,23 33,24 33,25 33,26 33,27 34,0 34,1 34,2 34,3 34,4 34,5 34,6 34,7 34,8 34,9 34,10 34,11 34,12 34,13 34,14 34,15 34,16 34,17 34,18 34,19 34,20 34,21 34,22 34,23 34,24 34,25 34,26 34,27
Animation:

 

Description

This data visualizer gives access to the following global ocean surface current behaviors between 1992 and 2011: current speed, current direction, current convergence, and current vorticity as well as the anomaly values for each. An anomaly is the difference between a measurement made on a specific date and the mean value of that same measurement over many years. A non-zero anomaly indicates a difference from the normal behavior.

Current speed measures how far the water surface moves in one second. The current direction tells the direction of flow (eastward = 0°, northward = 90°, southward = -90°, westward = ±180°. The current direction is also shown on each map by the black arrows. Current convergence measures how strongly the current flows towards or flows away from a location. A positive convergence of water indicates flow inwards to a location and is evidence of downwelling (surface water forced to lower depths). A negative convergence indicates flow outwards and is evidence of upwelling (deeper water rising to the surface).

Current vorticity measures how strongly water swirls around on the surface. Positive (negative) vorticity indicates counterclockwise (clockwise) rotation of water. Vortices in flow indicate turbulence and they are important because it causes mixing of water.

The main map displayed by the visualizer shows a 70° by 40° region of the ocean. The visualizer allows you to select a region of the ocean and study changes happening in the region. Each map has arrows showing the current direction and the colors indicate the strength of the current speed, the current direction, the current convergence or the current vorticity. At the bottom of each map, there is a color scale that allows you to convert image colors to a numerical measure.

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Instructions

General Controls

To use this visualizer first select a region of the globe from the "Region" menu, next select a type of parameter to view for this region. Then, select the month and year of the data of interest. As you make changes to these menus, the central display will update to display the selected data.

Region

Use this drop-list to select a region of the globe for study. The data is viewable in 15 different regions.

Parameter

Use this drop list to select the type of data to be shown in the main visualizer map - sea surface current: speed, direction, convergence, vorticity and their anomaly values.

  • Speed: Measures how far the water surface moves in a unit of time
  • Alignment: Measures how uniformly aligned are the nearby current arrows (1 = aligned, 0 = unaligned, -1 oppositely aligned)
  • Direction: Four main colors indicate the direction of flow (Blue = East, Red = North, Yellow = West, Green = South). The darkness of the color indicates how well aligned the arrows are within a small region (Dark = very aligned, White = not aligned).
  • Convergence: Measures convergence of flow into a region (positive = convergence, negative = divergence). A negative convergence indicates flow outwards and is evidence of upwelling (deeper water rising to the surface).
  • Vorticity: Measures the intensity of circular, fluid movement around a site. Positive (negative) vorticity indicates counterclockwise (clockwise) rotation of water. Vortices indicate turbulence and they are important because as an indication of mixing of water.

Year

Use this drop list to select the year of the data shown in the visualizer map.

Month

Use this drop list to select the month of the data shown in the visualizer map.

Interactive Controls

In addition to being able to update the overall map, one can select or click on sections of the map to bring up a new window with data over a series of timesteps for the clicked region.

PopUp Copy

Press this button to put a copy of the map in a separate pop-up window.

Click-On-Map Data

Click on a 5°x5° region of the map which has significant water coverage and a popup window will display a time series of data in the region or an image of ship drift water currents for the month whose data appears in the visualizer map.

Animation Controls

The main viewer can also present animated forms of the data by using the animation controls described.

Animation

Select the number of frames and press this button to animate the image.

Next Frame

Press this button to view the map on the next available date.

Previous Frame

Press this button to view the map on the next available date.

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Credits

Acknowledgment

The Tropical Ocean Surface Currents - OSCAR data set on this PO.DAAC site mirror those available via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site. See also, methodology description.

ocean surface currents for tropical pacific region
(latest realtime OSCAR data courtesy NOAA: source)

Product Title

Tropical Ocean Surface Currents - OSCAR (Lagerloef, Bonjean)

Source/Sensor

  1. TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeters (10/1992 – 06/2002)
  2. Jason Poseidon-2 solid-state altimeter (07/2002 – present)
  3. DMSP –F8, 10, 11 Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) (10/1992 - 07/1999)
  4. QuikSCAT SeaWinds scatterometer (08/1999 – present)
  5. Reynolds & Smith Sea Surface Temperature (10/1992 – present)

Citation

If you use OSCAR data in publications, please acknowledge the OSCAR Project Office. Also, ESR would appreciate receiving a preprint and/or reprint of publications utilizing these data for inclusion in the OSCAR bibliography. These publications should be sent to:

OSCAR Project Office
Earth and Space Research
1910 Fairview Ave E, Suite 210
Seattle WA 98102-3620

Reference

  1. Bonjean F. and G.S.E. Lagerloef, 2002, Diagnostic Model and Analysis of the Surface Currents in the Tropical Pacific Ocean, Journal of Physical Oceanography. (PDF)