Interactive website to visualize and study mesoscale eddies

Jeffrey J Early, NorthWest Research Associates Redmond, Redmond, WA, United States, Brian J Curtis, Private Database Consultant, WA, United States, Peter Gaube, Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington, Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing, Seattle, WA, United States and Jonathan M Lilly, Theiss Research, La Jolla, CA, United States
Over the last several decades satellite altimetry data has enabled researchers to track ocean eddies as they traverse the world oceans. These eddies persist for months and sometimes even years, changing size and shape throughout their lifetimes. Many of these eddies are also observed by other instruments, include surface drifters and profiling floats, among other instruments.

In order to convey the rich qualities of these eddies, we created an online, interactive website to explore the evolution of individual eddies in the world oceans. Users explore the history of tracked eddies in the ocean and study the histories of individual eddies fused with other contemporaneous observations.

This online visualization and exploration tool is backed by datasets used in current research by the co-authors studying the physical structure of these eddies and their interactions with biology. These datasets are normalized in a publicly available relational database which supports the online tools and enable future research projects combining these observations. The goal here is to lower the barrier to entry for research and understanding by scientists, students, educators, and the public at large.