Global Ocean Observations

GTS Google Earth Layer for Global Marine and Meteorological Observations

The Physical Oceanography Division at NOAA/AOML manages and coordinates the operational data collection of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). By utilizing the GTS Google Earth Layer, recent marine and meteorological observations collected in the Global Telecommunications System (GTS) can now be viewed and explored on Google Earth.

Please acknowledge AOML as the source of the applications below when using them.  For updates or other information contact: Dr. Joaquin Trinanes or Dr. Gustavo Goni

To download the Google Earth layer (updated weekly), which can be viewed in Google Earth Software, click here. For a free copy of Google Earth, click here.

To view this application on a web browser using the Google Earth browser plugin (Win/Mac), click here.

The Physical Oceanography Division collects global ocean observations in collaboration with other US and international groups.


XBT Network

A component of the global ocean observing system that collects, processes, and distributes temperature profiles using eXpendable Bathythermographs deployed from ships of opportunity and research vessels. Go

ARGO Center

Argo is an international program that calls for the deployment of 3,000 free drifting profiling floats, distributed over the global oceans, which will measure the temperature and salinity in the upper 1,000 to 2,000 m of the ocean providing 100,000 T/S profiles and reference velocity measurements per year. This will allow continuous monitoring of the climate state of the ocean, with all data made publicly available within hours of collection. Go

XBT Science

A website that provides easy access to eXpendable BathyThermographs (XBTs) data, XBT-derived products, and other XBT-related scientific and operational information; and also brings together scientists to highlight the uses of XBT data including upper ocean thermal structure and variability, and ocean current transport. Go

Global Drifter Program

AOML's contribution to the Global Drifter Program consists of the Drifter Operations Center (DOC) and the Drifter Data Assembly Center (DAC). The DOC manages global drifter deployments, using volunteer ships of the Ship Of Opportunity Program, research ships and aircraft. The DAC verifies that the drifters are operational, distributes the data to meteorological services via the GTS, assembles, quality controls and makes the data available on the web, and offers drifter-derived products. Go

Sustained Ocean Obs. with Gliders

Multi-institutional effort to implement and carry out sustained and targeted ocean observations from gliders in the Caribbean Sea and southwestern tropical North Atlantic Ocean. Go


Thermosalinographs (TSGs) are instruments mounted close to the water intake of research and cargo ships and that continuously measure the sea surface salinity and temperature along the track of the ship. AOML currently operates several TSG transects from three ships of the SOOP. Go

PIRATA Northeast Extension

The PIRATA Northeast Extension (PNE) project is a joint AOML and PMEL effort to expand the PIRATA array of tropical Atlantic ATLAS moorings into the northern and northeastern sectors of the Tropical Atlantic Ocean. Go

Western Boundary Time Series

This project consists of two components to monitor the western boundary currents in the subtropical Atlantic: the Florida Current transport measurements using a submarine telephone cable plus calibration cruises and the Deep Western Boundary Current transport and property measurements using dedicated research ship time and moorings. Go

South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAMOC)

SAMOC is an international initiative to study the role of the South Atlantic in the Meridional Overturning Circulation. For additional information: Go

Related Projects

Instrument Development

A classic conundrum of physical oceanographic and climatic research has been how to measure the deep ocean and record data with instruments on the bottom of the ocean while also getting the data back to land quickly enough to be used in climate analysis and prediction. This AOML/PHOD project has sought to develop a cost-effective system utilizing expendable 'data pods' which would collect data from a central instrument, self-release at a user pre-programmed interval, surface and transmit their data back to land via satellite. Go


AMVER-SEAS is a real-time ship and environmental data acquisition and transmission system. The AMVER-SEAS software acquires atmospheric, oceanographic data and transmits the data in real-time for addition to scientific and operational databases. AMVER-SEAS is employed on ships of the SOOP, and on NOAA, UNOLS, and Coast Guard Vessels. Go

Past Events


Workshop on Observations, data and products from the Global Ocean Observing System.

Miami, June 1, 2009 Go