National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Physical Oceanography Division

Who we are

The Physical Oceanography Division (PhOD) is a part of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) together with the Ocean Chemistry and Hurricane Research Divisions. The Physical Oceanography Division carries out interdisciplinary scientific investigations of the physics of ocean currents and water properties, and on the role of the ocean in climate, extreme weather events, and ecosystems. The tools used to carry out these studies range from sensors on deep ocean moorings to satellite-based instruments to measurements made on research and commercial shipping vessels and autonomous vehicles, and include data analysis and numerical modeling as well as theoretical approaches.

Major areas of research
  • Meso-to-large scale dynamics and variability of ocean currents;
  • The redistribution of heat, salt and momentum through the oceans;
  • The interactions between oceans, atmosphere, and coastal environments;
  • The influence of climate variability on the ocean ecosystems, hurricanes and tornadoes;


NOAA Adopt a Drifter Program

PhOD videos>>

Research Highlight

2014 PIRATA Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise

The 2014 PIRATA Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise was conducted on the UNOLS R/V Endeavor from
December 29, 2014 to February 11, 2015.  During this cruise, a number of tropical moorings were recovered and deployed and a suite of oceanographic data was collected in the climate-critical Tropical North Atlantic Go>>

Recent publications
  • Mixed-layer salinity budget in the SPURS (Salinity Processes in the Upper ocean Regional Study) region on seasonal to interannual time scales. [pdf]
  • An optimal XBT-based monitoring system for the South Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 34°S. [pdf]
  • Variability of the Deepwater Horizon Surface Oil Spill Extent and its Relationship to Varying Ocean Currents and Extreme Weather Conditions [pdf]
  • ENSO and non-ENSO induced charging and discharging of the equatorial Pacifi. [pdf]
  • Relationship between ocean mean temperatures and Indian summer monsoon rainfall [pdf]

Complete list of publications>>


May 2015 Employee and Team Member of the Month

This month's employee and team member of the month keep NOAA's mission-critical computer systems running using creative and innovative techniques and solutions. Go>>

Physical Oceanography Seminars

    Dr. Christopher Meinen - Tuesday, September 1 at 2pm -Tittle TBA

    Dr. Elizabeth "Libby" Johns -Thursday, September 3 at 2pm- Tittle TBA

All seminars are held at the AOML first floor conference room, unless otherwise stated.
A list of recent PhOD seminars can be found here.

Current Job Opportunities

  • Research Associate II - (CIMAS/UM, position #P100002838) [apply on-line]
  • Research Associate I - (CIMAS/UM, position #060867) [apply on-line]
  • Electrical Engineer - (CIMAS/UM, position #051018) [apply on-line]
  • Part-Time Opportunity for Student on Webpage Development - (CIMAS/UM) [more information]

For questions regarding these CIMAS positions, please contact Gustavo Goni at (305) 361-4339.