Seismic Oceanography

Sea surface temperature (SST)
Sea surface temperature (SST) images were used to locate the most hydrographically interesting sections of the UNOLS MCS profiles collected during the time window of the R/V Endeavor 438 cruise. The lines represent segments covered by the ROSE XBT survey along GSC0708 (21-23 July 2007) and GSC0709 (23-24 July 2007).

Seismic oceanography is a new field of research which utilizes marine multichannel seismic (MSC) imaging to investigate structures within the water column. Features such as water mass fronts, mesoscale eddies, and thermohaline intrusions can be imaged with horizontal and vertical resolution of approximately 10 m. This ability to view vertical slices of the ocean nearly synoptically at high resolution holds great promise for improving our understanding of ocean physics.

The Reflection Ocean Seismic Experiment (ROSE) was carried out in the summer of 2007. This field program was designed to take advantage of an MSC survey being carried out as part of the data acquisition for the Government of Canada requirements for submission in regards to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). ROSE focused on probing the Gulf Stream and adjacent waters with coincident seismic and hydrographic data to study in great detail how large-scale oceanographic features interact with fine-scale structures that cause ocean mixing. Such research requires close collaboration between marine geophysicists and physical oceanographers, but few of these studies have taken place because seismic oceanography is a relatively new field and the costs of MCS data acquisition are substantial. The unique advantage that ROSE provides over other seismic oceanography data sets to this point is the high spatial resolution of its hydrographic data.

For further information, contact Dr. Blair Greenan.


Greenan, B.J.W., M. Nedimovic, K. Louden, R. Mirshak, B. Ruddick and J. Shimeld, 2008. ROSE œ Reflection Ocean Seismic Experiment. CMOS Bulletin, 36, 43-50.