Southern Ocean State Estimation

A modern general circulation model, the MITgcm, is least squares fit to all available ocean observations. This is accomplished iteratively through the adjoint method. The result is a physically realistic estimate of the ocean state. SOSE is being produced by Matthew Mazloff as part of the ECCO consortium and funded by the National Science Foundation. Computational resources are provided in part by the NSF TeraGrid.

For more information on the adjoint method see C. Wunsch and P. Heimbach, 2007: "Practical Global Oceanic State Estimation." Physica D. (pdf)

For more information on SOSE see M. Mazloff, P. Heimbach, and C. Wunsch, 2010: "An Eddy-Permitting Southern Ocean State Estimate." J. Phys. Oceanogr.40, 880–899. doi: 10.1175/2009JPO4236.1

You are encouraged to use our results, but please be aware of the disclaimer and terms of use. Some data are preliminary and may not be suited to your needs.


Matthew Mazloff

9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0230, La Jolla, CA 92093-0230, USA

SOSE is produced by constraining the MITGCM:

to Southern Ocean observations, including:

Argo: APB:




SST: ice cover:


Geoid: SSH:


(Image links represent url that images where attained from, and often have information regarding the observational platform.)

Observations come from many sources besides those shown above, including independent researchers. Some of the utilized data centers include:
CLIVAR and Carbon Hydrographic Data Office (CCHDO)
National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)
NOAA National Ocean Data Center (NODC)
Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS)
Remote Sensing Systems (RSS)