Project Title

Physical Oceanographic Support for South Florida Measurement Facility

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Alexander Soloviev

Colleges / Centers

Halmos College of Arts and Sciences


Naval Surface Warfare Center

Start Date



The Physical Oceanography Laboratory at the NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography (HCNSO) has been providing physical oceanographic support for the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF) since 1999, including field, computational, and theoretical studies. During this new project, we will provide comprehensive physical oceanographic support including the development and installation of the necessary measurement systems required to further characterize the SFOMF oceanographic environment. In addition to acquisition of the required hardware necessary to measure and collect environmental data, NSU will design and conduct two ambient ocean experiments (at 800 ft and 540 ft isobath locations), as well as acquire and analyze data towards validating the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model. As a minimum, experimental data to be collected includes ADCP, CTD, pressure, surface waves; this data can be enhanced with glider measurements. An optimal interpolation process will be implemented in order to produce the 3D velocity field at the SFMOF range and provide initial conditions for the NSU magnetohydrodynamic model. During the research, two targeted open ocean experiments will test the validity of instruments and procedures, replicating elements of prior projects and this project. During the recent project funded by NAVAIR, the NSU team developed a new generation CFD magnetohydrodynamic model, which has successfully been verified with the magnetometers for two cases of the well-defined internal wave solitons on the Navy range. For further model advancement, which will allow the prediction of the magnetic signature of more complicated solitons structure and other oceanographic processes (such as mesoscale and sub mesoscale eddies), the 3D velocity field is required as the input in the MHD model. The new project will have a sufficiently dense pattern of moorings, which will be enhanced by the glider observations (funded by the NSU ONR project), to produce a 3D velocity field with the help of the optimal interpolation type scheme of data processing. This project will provide comprehensive physical oceanographic support based on an innovative instrumentational approach, opening new capabilities in research for naval applications. The system will be operated in cooperation with the SFOMF staff and in coordination with other activities on the Navy range. The team will include personnel from the NSWC-CD, and oceanographers and magneto hydrodynamic modelers from NSU. Collaborations will include NRL and ONR researchers as well as other U.S. universities and private organizations. An important function of this project is also to prepare a new generation of specialists in the field of naval research. This research will be of interest to Naval programs on a long-term basis and for different locations in the World Ocean.

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