One important context in which turbulent flow occurs is in Earth’s oceans, especially on scales of a few kilometers. Like engineers, oceanographers have long relied on numerical simulations to model physical systems – but oceanography presents an additional challenge to simulations because data for comparison are sparse in space and time.
Starting in late 2015, SciServer will host some of the largest computational models of global ocean circulation ever offered online. The new models will allow users to trace the physical and chemical evolution of ocean currents across orders of magnitude in space and time, and to quickly analyze important aspects of model events in conjunction with observational data. New SciServer tools will allow researchers to collaboratively track particles through circulation models, identifying hard-to-find features such as high-vorticity regions and isolated vertical mixing.