Lagrangian ocean analysis: fundamentals and practices

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Title: Lagrangian ocean analysis: fundamentals and practices
Authors: Van Sebille, E
Griffies, SM
Abernathey, R
Adams, T
Berloff, P
Biastoch, A
Blanke, B
Chassignet, E
Cheng, Y
Cotter, C
Deleersnijder, E
Doos, K
Drake, H
Drijfhout, S
Gary, S
Heemink, A
Kjellsson, J
Koszalka, I
Lange, M
Lique, C
MacGilchrist, G
Marsh, R
Mayorga Adame, G
McAdam, R
Nencioli, F
Paris, C
Piggott, M
Polton, J
Ruhs, S
Shah, S
Thomas, M
Wang, J
Wolfram, P
Zanna, L
Zika, J
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Lagrangian analysis is a powerful way to analyse the output of ocean circulation models and other ocean velocity data such as from altimetry. In the Lagrangian approach, large sets of virtual particles are integrated within the three-dimensional, time-evolving velocity fields. Over several decades, a variety of tools and methods for this purpose have emerged. Here, we review the state of the art in the field of Lagrangian analysis of ocean velocity data, starting from a fundamental kinematic framework and with a focus on large-scale open ocean applications. Beyond the use of explicit velocity fields, we consider the influence of unresolved physics and dynamics on particle trajectories. We comprehensively list and discuss the tools currently available for tracking virtual particles. We then showcase some of the innovative applications of trajectory data, and conclude with some open questions and an outlook. The overall goal of this review paper is to reconcile some of the different techniques and methods in Lagrangian ocean analysis, while recognising the rich diversity of codes that have and continue to emerge, and the challenges of the coming age of petascale computing.
Issue Date: 24-Nov-2017
Date of Acceptance: 23-Nov-2017
ISSN: 1463-5003
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 49
End Page: 75
Journal / Book Title: Ocean Modelling
Volume: 121
Copyright Statement: © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
European Research Council
Funder's Grant Number: NE/G000212/1
Keywords: 0405 Oceanography
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Earth Science and Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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