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Big Data Reveals Glorious Animation of Antarctic Bottom Water
December 11, 2015 Blog

This article was originally published by nci.org.au and can be viewed in full

A remarkably detailed animation of the movement of the densest and coldest water in the world around Antarctica has been produced using data generated on Australia’s most powerful supercomputer, Raijin.

Chief Investigator, Dr Andy Hogg, from the ANU hub of ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science worked with the National Computational Infrastructure’s VizLab team, using a high-resolution ocean model, to produce the animation.

The visualization has revealed underwater ocean storms generated by eddies, waterfalls of cold dense water that plummet two kilometres off the Antarctic Continental Shelf into the abyss and underwater waves hundreds of metres high.

Scientists who have seen the visualization have been astonished at the level of detail. But this visualization is about more than communicating the wonder of science to the public. Being able to actually see how the bottom water moves in three dimensions rather than just looking at numerical, two dimensional outputs has already opened new areas for scientific research.

This latest animation peels back much of the surface layer of the ocean to explore how the cold dense water produced on the Antarctic continental shelf spreads out into every ocean basin in the world.

To watch video on “Circulation of the Southern Ocean” visit: http://nci.org.au/2015/11/24/big-data-reveals-glorious-animation-of-antarctic-bottom-water/

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