Observing interactions between winds, waves, currents and ice



Waves in the Southern Ocean are the biggest on the planet. Thus, they exert extreme stresses on the coastline of Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Antarctic sea ice cover. Because of the lack of field data, wave models are not well calibrated and perform poorly in the Southern Ocean, undermining our current understanding of these delicate ocean and coastal environments and our ability to protect them.

This project aims at collecting an uninterrupted set of wind, wave, and surface current data using state-of-the-art marine radar technology. Instrumentation will be installed on the research vessel and collect data throughout the entire expedition. The measurements will be complemented by data from numerical waves-in-ice models and satellite observations of sea ice. This unique database will be used to model the complex wave physics in the Southern Ocean and to calibrate and validate available wave forecasting models.


Principal Investigator (PI)

Alessandro Toffoli

University of Melbourne, Australia


Metocean properties of the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctic waters: winds, waves, currents, ice, and their interactions

Principal institution / country

  • University of Adelaide (Australia)
  • Coastal Marine Technology (South Africa)
  • German Aerospace Center, DLR (Germany)