Dr. Francisco J. Ocampo Torres
Title: Ocean surface waves and ocean-atmosphere interactions

The relevance of ocean surface wave dynamics is briefly shown. Some aspects are acknowledged from the traditional point of view, regarding mainly ship design, coastal and oceanic engineering applications, as well as maritime operations. More recently, interest is well focused at the exchange processes between the ocean and the atmosphere. We are mainly concerned with some of the most important ones, very much related to the influence of ocean surface waves on present challenging issues. One particular issue is the gas transfer across the interface and its potential impact on climate and its changes. Another issue is the upper ocean dynamics and the behavior of surface currents and drift, greatly associated with transport of pollutants and objects on the sea surface. Furthermore, fundamental processes associated with observing the ocean with remote sensors are also a challenging aspect that requires a great knowledge of ocean surface waves. In turns for instance, from ocean surface images acquired with synthetic aperture radars it is possible to indirectly determine the wave directional spectrum, essentially since ocean waves modulate the microwave reflectors, which represent a rather small scale roughness of the very sea surface. The main challenge to estimate the directional wave spectrum is shown and some preliminary results are presented. More related to the upper ocean dynamics, another example of an inverse problem of relevance is also shown, aiming to obtain the fluid velocity field in a layer just beneath the sea surface when acoustic Doppler methods are used.