Physical Ocean Observations

The ability to observe physical oceanographic variables such as sea surface currents, temperature, salinity, external and internal tides, and surface waves support a vast array of stakeholders and missions, including weather forecasts, safe transport of large tanker vessels in and out of our nation’s harbors, safe drinking water, search and rescue operations, and the role of the ocean in climate variability.

Physical ocean observations also constrain computer models that are used by scientists to forecast future states of the ocean and to deconstruct existing or past conditions to determine what factors affect the ocean and coastal environment. Developing new or improved methods to observe the ocean, coastal and marine environment will help the Nation track, predict, manage, and adapt to changes in our ocean and coastal environment, and also to deliver critical information to decision makers as they seek to improve safety, enhance our economy, and protect our environment.

For information on Ocean Technology Transition Projects Funded to date in support of Physical Ocean Observations, click on the link(s) below.

OTT Physical Ocean Observing Projects


A Real-time Sensor System for Detecting Freeze-up on Arctic Shelves

For more information about IOOS’ Ocean Technology Transition Project, please contact Jenifer Rhoades, Project Manager.


U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System
1315 East-West Highway 2nd Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

(240) 533-9444

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