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Observations are essential to explore and discover the ocean, to reveal new processes or trends, and to contribute to reducing the uncertainties for a wide range of physical, chemical and biological processes. However, the ocean remains critically under-observed. Progress in our understanding of the ocean and of its role in a changing environment thus rely deeply on an increase in coverage and resolution in space and time of high-quality observations. Ocean Observation, a specialty section of Frontiers in Marine Science, aims to promote these statements at a time when a revolution is under way in ocean observation and resulting data usage, progressively leaving behind the era of scarce data and associated knowledge gaps. Indeed, thanks to ongoing technological developments, some of them now achieving maturity, we are entering a new period of cost-effective observation acquisition, in large part based on remote techniques. Long-term and sustained observations are now becoming a reality as a result of improved data management procedures and efficient international networking and coordination.
The Ocean observation section welcomes studies presenting new technologies (sensors, platforms) and methods for increasing the quantity and quality of measurements in the various fields of oceanography (physics, optics, acoustics, chemistry, biology, biogeochemistry, biodiversity, genomics, ecosystem studies). Ocean Observation primarily targets the open ocean and its connections with its interfaces (atmosphere, ice, coastal domain) over a broad spatio-temporal framework, from the sub-mesoscale to the global scale and from the diurnal to the decadal scale.
The Ocean Observation section welcomes studies dedicated to the analysis of specific datasets acquired by specific observation platforms such as satellites (sea surface temperature and salinity, ocean color, altimetry), autonomous platforms (floats, gliders, drifters, moorings, instrumented and tagged animals), or ships (transects, underway measurements), but also integrated studies combining datasets from various origins (e.g. satellite and in situ) and from various disciplines (e.g. physics and biogeochemistry). In this context, and with the ultimate aim of producing datasets with the required quality for climate studies, Ocean Observation encourages innovative insights into the development of data quality-control procedures and methods allowing datasets from different sources to be interoperable.
The Ocean Observation section also welcomes studies dedicated to integration of observations with numerical models to provide context, spatial and temporal estimates, or observing system simulation experiments that may span physical, biogeochemical, and ecosystem dimensions. Noticeably and as a consequence of the increasing availability of massive datasets, ocean science is entering the big data era. The section therefore welcomes AI-based approaches allowing for improved insights into our knowledge of ocean functioning and the future prediction of the ocean state. In particular, the integration of in situ and satellite observations together with modelling and AI are the foundations for building the Digital Twin of the Ocean that will help transforming data into better knowledge and developing what-if scenarios in the context of climate risk mitigation at various scales. The Ocean Observation section encourages studies focused on the challenging developments associated with the emergence of the Ocean’s Digital Twin.
The Ocean Observation section should also be considered as a forum for the growing research community, focusing on all aspects of ocean observation including operational oceanography and management applications in a context of increasing societal demand. We welcome reviews and perspectives.
Indexed in: Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), DOAJ, ProQuest Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) , Scopus
Ocean Observation welcomes submissions of the following article types: Brief Research Report, Correction, Data Report, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Review, Systematic Review and Technology and Code.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Ocean Observation, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
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