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A Century of Better Sampling: Ocean Data Collection from Boundary Layer to Basin Scales

Oceanographer Walter Munk famously declared the first century of oceanography “A century of under sampling.” And while ocean data collection is still a real pain, I hope, in this talk, to inspire some optimism for the century to come. I will begin by discussing my doctoral work, which relied on custom-built and carefully deployed acoustic and optical instruments to elucidate fluid and sediment dynamics in a combined wave-current bottom boundary layer. These high-fidelity measurements revealed a sediment bed structure that none of us expected (hint: worms were involved). I will then discuss my current role at Sofar Ocean, where we are taking a different approach to ocean data collection; namely, make oceanographic instruments as cheap and durable as possible. This strategy has allowed us to build a global network of free drifting Spotter buoys, the data from which drive an operational assimilative wave forecast model, which itself serves as an input to Wayfinder, our path planning application that guides some of the world’s largest cargo ships through safe and fuel-efficient routes. I will conclude by discussing some ongoing research efforts and the advances that we hope to enable in global scale observations of the air-sea interface.

Speaker: Galen Egan, Sofar Ocean

Monday, 02/27/23


Website: Click to Visit



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Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2)

Stanford University
Room 111
Stanford, CA 94305

Website: Click to Visit