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.

Read here about ways in which divisional work and projects benefit society [pdf]

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's ARGO Float Program at AOML

PhOD videos>>

Research Highlight

Pathways and hydrography in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System

The results of two oceanographic cruises conducted in the Mexican and Belizean shelf waters over the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef during 2006 and 2007 show that the circulation can be divided into two distinct regimes: a northern region dominated by the strong, northward-flowing Yucatan Current, and a southern region with weaker southward coastal currents and the presence of the Honduras Gyre. Go>>

Recent publications
  • The fate of the Deep Western Boundary Current in the South Atlantic. [pdf]
  • A reassessment of the integrated impact of tropical cyclones on surface chlorophyll in the western subtropical North Atlantic. [pdf]
  • Variability of the Deepwater Horizon surface oil spill extent and its relationship to varying ocean currents and extreme weather conditions. [pdf]
  • Transport of surface freshwater from the equatorial to the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean. [pdf]
  • Mixed-lyer salinity budget in the SPURS (Salinity Processes in the Upper ocean Regional Study) region on seasonal to interannual time scales. [pdf]

Complete list of publications>>


Welcome Aboard

Patrick Halsall has started as a new CIMAS Research Associate employee in PhOD.Go>>

Physical Oceanography Seminars

    Dr. Matthieu LeHenaff - Tuesaday, Sepetember 29 at 3pm - "Mississippi waters reaching South Florida reefs under no flood conditions: synthesis of observing nd modeling system findings".

    Please join https://global.gotomeeting. com/join/580413389

    Dr. Sudip Majumder - Tuesday, Ocober 27 at 3pm - "An Observation and Model Based Analysis of Meridional Transports in the South Atlantic".

    Please join https://global.gotomeeting. com/join/364277717

    Dr. Chunza Wang - Tuesday, November 10 at 11am - title TBA

    Dr. George Halliwell - Monday, November 16 at 3pm - title 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 #P100004414) [apply on-line]
  • Postdoctoral Associate - (CIMAS/UM, position #P100004476) [apply on-line]
  • Postdoctoral Associate - (CIMAS/UM, position #P100004415) [apply on-line]
  • NRC Research Associateship Programs: Inter-Ocean Exchanges [more information]
  • NRC Research Associateship Programs: Tropical Atlantic [more information]
  • Postdoctoral Associate - Please let us know if are you interested in joining our team as a Postdoctoral Associate working on a field of research closely related to our divisional objectives. You may contact Gustavo Goni for additional details.

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