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]
  • OSSE impact analysis of airborne ocean surveys for improving upper-ocean dynamical and thermodynamical forecasts in the Gulf of Mexico. [pdf]
  • Characteristics of the near-surface currents in the Indian Ocean as deduced from satellite-tracked surface drifters. Part I: Pseudo-Eulerian statistics. [pdf]
  • A reassessment of the integrated impact of tropical cyclones on surface chlorophyll in the western subtropical North Atlantic [pdf]

Complete list of publications>>


Woman in Oceanography

Women in Oceanography: A Decade Later was published as a stand-alone supplement to Oceanography magazine. The volume contains a series of very interesting articles depicting the past and present challenges that women in modern oceanography face and the evolution of the role of women in the field. Go>>

Physical Oceanography Seminars

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 I - (CIMAS/UM, position #060867) [apply on-line]
  • Electrical Engineer - (CIMAS/UM, position #051018) [apply on-line]

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