Computers in Oceanography

  • William W. Hay
Part of the Computer Applications in the Earth Sciences book series (CAES)


Oceanography is a broad topic encompassing not only marine geology and geophysics but also physical, chemical, and biological oceanography. Computers are used for data storage, analysis, and modeling. Data storage for this field is centralized in the National Oceanographic Data Center which archives a vast amount of data in a variety of forms. Many of the oceanographic institutions also archive sets of data of particular interest at that institution. The Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) archives measurements and observations on the cores that have been recoved by drilling, and this constitutes the largest body of homogenous computer-accessible data in geology. The DSDP computer files have been transferred by duplication to Germany and to the USSR. Computer analysis ranges from complex processing problems, such as multichannel seismics and satellite images, to relatively simpler current dynamics, paleoecologic interpretations, lithologie analysis, and construction of agedepth curves in marine stratigraphie sequences. Modeling is most sophisticated in physical oceanography and atmospheric science, where the general circulation models require large computing facilities. Process modeling is developing rapidly in marine chemistry. Ecological modeling is an active area in biology, with much interesting work being carried out on analog computers. A unique development in oceanographic computing is the use of satellites to transmit data from ships and buoys to shore laboratories for processing and return by satellite of the processed data to the ships in time to permit modification of experiments in process as conditions change.


Satellite Image Data Storage General Circulation Model Analog Computer Vast Amount 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • William W. Hay
    • 1
  1. 1.Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of MiamiUSA

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