Review of Eastern Tropical Pacific Oceanography

Background

Modern oceanographic research in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean began during the 1950s. Klaus Wyrtki, a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, compiled and synthesized data and results from the 1950s and 1960s, and published several summary papers on the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific (including Wyrtki, 1966; Wyrtki, 1967). These reviews give a broad summary of regional oceanography that has remained accurate and useful, although based on limited observations.

ETP Oceanography CoverScientific progress in the field and in the laboratory since the 1960s has greatly increased knowledge and understanding of the world’s oceans. Although much of Wyrtki’s description of the eastern tropical Pacific remains valid today, there are physical and biological phenomena that were not understood or even known by 1960s oceanographers, for example mesoscale eddies, tropical instability waves, and interdecadal variability.

A set of review articles on the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, has been published as a special issue of Progress in OceanographyThe previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer (2006, vol. 69(2-4)). Wyrtki’s reviews are brought up to date in two ways: (1) new observations and tools have enhanced our understanding of features covered by Wyrtki, and (2) aspects of the oceanography of the region covered briefly or not at all by Wyrtki are reviewed. We emphasize oceanographic patterns of spatial and temporal variability, relationships between atmospheric forcing and ocean dynamics, physical-biological interactions, and linkages between temporal variability at seasonal, interannual, and longer time scales.

Dedication

The review volume is dedicated to Professor Klaus Wyrtki (U. Hawaii), for the diligence and vision of his early review of eastern tropical Pacific oceanography and for his original research in the tropical Pacific in general. We also acknowledge the early work of those who provided the scientific basis for Wyrtki’s review, as well as the scientists of EASTROPAC who completed a unique survey of this important region of the global ocean.

ETPac Map

Review Papers

Supplementary material:

Oceanographic research cruises in the eastern tropical Pacific

 

Financial support for this review was provided by:
IAIThe previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer Eastern Pacific Consortium for Research on Global Change
NOAA Fisheries/SWFSC/Protected Resources Division

Guest Editors:
Paul Fiedler, NOAA Fisheries
Miguel LavinThe previous link is a link to Non-Federal government web site. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer, CICESE

Last modified: 12/24/2014