Last week the Australian Coastal and Oceans Modelling and Observations Workshop (ACOMO) 2018 was held in Canberra, Australia.
MetOcean Solutions’ Chief Scientist Prof Moninya Roughan, part of the organising committee, says ACOMO workshops have been a great success over the years, engaging initiatives to integrate marine observations and to grown national coastal ocean modelling capability.
“This year’s conference saw more involvement and representation from marine industry showing the relevance of ocean modelling and observing to supporting blue economy growth aspirations.
“The Moana Project, a five year project recently awarded through the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Endeavour Fund, was conceived through an industry-community-research partnership initiative, bringing together the seafood sector, Te Ao Māori knowledge and oceanographic research organisations.”
MetOcean was also represented by Research Lead Sally Garrett from New Zealand Defence Technology Agency who gave a presentation on the Southern Ocean wave project. It is a collaborative effort between MetOcean Solutions and the New Zealand Defence Force to deploy the southernmost wave buoy that has ever been moored in the world, located about 11 km south of Campbell Island.
The full abstract of Garrett’s talk is provided below.
New Wave Observations in the Southern Ocean
Tom Durrant*, Peter McComb*, Jorge Perez*, Henrique Rapizo*, Sally Garrett^
The combination of persistent westerly winds, and the largely unbroken expanse of sea in the Southern Ocean, produces potentially enormous fetches, resulting in higher wave heights for longer periods than any other body of water. Due to the harsh ocean environment and remote location, it is also the least observed of any major ocean. While satellite altimeter data can be used to estimate the surface variance, the wave spectral characteristics cannot be measured remotely, and consequently the directional wave spectra in Southern Ocean are poorly sampled and not well understood.
In February 2017, MetOcean deployed a buoy off Campbell Island. At 52.7S, this is the Southernmost moored deployment to be made in the Southern Ocean. In February of this year, a second deployment was made at the site as part of a wider program in collaboration with the New Zealand Defence Force and Spoondrift which includes an additional five drifting buoys. These buoys complement the Australian SOFS mooring at 47S, and are collectively providing the first high quality in-situ wave observations in the Southern Ocean. They are already measuring phenomenal conditions, with the highest recorded wave in the Southern Hemisphere recorded in May of this year at 24.8m. These data are being used to quantitatively assess the performance of recent improvements in global wave models. An analysis of the relative importance of large scale ocean currents will also be presented. This project will inform the design of next generation of NZ Navy vessels supporting patrol responsibilities in the Southern Ocean.
*MetOcean Solutions. ^New Zealand Defence Technology Agency.
Check out the Southern Ocean wave buoy direct data feed.