STorM – Atmosphere – Ocean – Solid Earth Coupling: Seismic Tools to Explore and Monitor the Oceans

Reference: UTAP-EXPL/EAC/0056/2017

The North Atlantic region plays a rather special role in the global climate, by being a preferred location for the development of major atmospheric storms, at both tropical and extra-tropical latitudes, and by its potential control of the deep ocean circulation.

Atmosphere-ocean processes occurring in that region affect climate in a large domain, specially in Europe and North America, and their sensitivity to climate change is a major concern. Ocean regions, which remain largely uncharted domains even in the satellite era, represent a fundamental piece in the puzzle of global Earth dynamics.Our limited knowledge on ocean processes is a direct consequence of observational challenges.

In this one-year collaborative project, we will explore innovative seismology-based tools to observe the oceans, in parallel with state-of-the art meteorological reanalysis, bringing together knowledge from atmospheric, ocean and solid earth science.

Title Atmosphere – Ocean – Solid Earth Coupling: Seismic Tools to Explore and Monitor the Oceans
Reference UTAP-EXPL/EAC/0056/2017
Scientific Area Space-Earth Interactions
Funding 99 984,00€
Leading Institution FCiências.ID – Associação para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências (Fciências.ID)
Participating Institutions The University of Austin at Texas (UT Austin)
Fundação Gaspar Frutuoso, FP (FGF)
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, I. P. (IPMA)
Duration 24 months
Begin date 6th November, 2018
End date 5th November, 2020 (extended)
Key Words Atmosphere-ocean dynamics, Earth Imaging, Geophysical tools, Uncertainty in inverse problems



Atmosphere – Ocean – Solid Earth Coupling: Seismic Tools to Explore and Monitor the Oceans

Project Team

Susana Custódio

Principal Investigator in Portugal

Tan Bui

Principal Investigator in Austin


"In this exploratory project, we will use unique ocean and land-based seismic datasets, collected in and around the north Atlantic, both on the seafloor, ocean islands and margins, in order to study ocean processes and the internal structure of the Earth. Our workplan aims at proving concepts that, if successful, can later be applied to larger datasets and/or be used for operational/monitoring purposes. The project is structured around three main tasks: 1) Using seismic data to image ocean storms, assessing its results against meteorological reanalysis; 2) Evaluating the impact of the steep topography of ocean islands on the microseismic wavefield, with impact on imaging the sub-surface; 3) Using OBS data as a proxy for ocean bottom currents. The project will benefit from the collaboration between a strong Applied Mathematics team at the University of Texas, Austin and Earth Sciences researchers in Portugal."

Principal Investigators