European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

World Ocean Isopycnal-Level Velocity Inverted from GDEM with the P-Vector Method

Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFirst release date 7 July 2014
Geographical area

Global ocean


Vertical velocity of the water column (currents); Horizontal velocity of the water column (currents); Density of the water column


The World Ocean Isopycnal-Level Velocity (WOIL-V) climatology was derived from the United States Navy's Generalised Digital Environmental Model (GDEM) temperature and salinity profiles, using the P-Vector Method. The absolute velocity data have the same horizontal resolution and temporal variation (annual, monthly) as GDEM (T, S) fields. These data have an horizontal resolution of 0.5 degrees ×0.5 degrees, and 222 isopycnal-levels (sigma theta levels) from sigma theta = 22.200 to 27.725 (kg m-3) with the increment delta sigma theta = 0.025 (kg m-3), however in the equatorial zone (5 degrees S – 5 degrees N) they are questionable due to the geostrophic balance being the theoretical base for the P-vector inverse method. The GDEM model, which served as the base for the calculations includes data from 1920s onwards and the WOIL-V will be updated with the same frequency as the GDEM. The climatological velocity field on isopycnal surface is dynamically compatible to the GDEM (T, S) fields and provides background ocean currents for oceanographic and climatic studies, especially in ocean isopycnal modeling. The climatology was prepared by the Department of Oceanography, Naval Postgraduate School.

OriginatorsNaval Postgraduate School, Department of Oceanography
Data web site
OrganisationBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
ContactPolly Hadžiabdić (Head of the BODC Requests Team)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 (0) 151 795 4884
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048ISOPYCNAL_GDEM_PVECTOR
Global identifier6274
Last revised2015-08-26