Forum for Operational Oceanography News

Marine Virtual Laboratory - FOO and the new Shelf Seas Atlas for Australia

December 2015

The Marine Virtual Laboratory (MARVL) project has developed a new Shelf Seas Atlas for Australia. The MARVL3 Data Atlas comprises a collated database of in-situ observations from coastal and shelf waters around Australia collected over the 20 year period between 1995 and 2014.

Over 25 million data values were assembled from observations made available by IMOS Australian Ocean Data Network partners and supplemented by data from the World Ocean Database (2013). Data from the collection were binned into ¼-degree squares, 10m depth intervals from surface to 500m, and months, with associated statistics for each bin (minimum, maximum, mean and standard deviation). An illustration of the time coverage of the data atlas is shown in the MARVL3 Data Atlas figure below, indicating the number of temperature bins filled from 1995 to 2014. The impact of the coordinated observations collected by IMOS from 2009 onwards is evident.

MARVL comprises a suite of community models (surface waves, ocean circulations) that can aid research into understanding the dynamics, interactions, and connectivity of estuarine/coastal regions, continental shelf regions, or the open ocean domain.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could add Industry data to this collection to make it an even more powerful Data Atlas? Can FOO help with linking Industry to research infrastructure providers? This could improve the accuracy of re-analysis and operational oceanographic models, thereby benefitting all four pillars of FOO - a goal we should aim for.

The MARVL3 data atlas is available through the IMOS Australian Ocean Data Network: MARVL3 – Australian shelf temperature and salinity Data Atlas. Full details of the construction of the Atlas can be found on the User Guide.

Adapted from the AODN Newsletter, December 2015.