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FORMOSA: Four dimensional research applying modelling and observations for the sea and atmosphere

01.06.2020 - 31.05.2023
Project coordinated by:
Leibniz-Institut für Atmosphärenphysik (IAP)
Project manager (IOW):
PD Dr. Lars Umlauf

FORMOSA combines expertise in the atmospheric sciences (IAP) and physial oceanography (IOW) to overcome limitations in the spatial and temporal sampling of the atmosphere and ocean with the help of innovative multi-dimensional approaches. In the atmosphere, we will apply recent lidar/radar developments to characterize three-dimensional and temporalvariations of temperatures, winds, and aerosols with unprecedented coverage and resolution. The entire middle atmosphere (appr. 10-120 km) will be sampled on horizontal scales from hundred meters to several hundred kilometers with a temporal resolution of minutes. This allows for the first time to disentangle corresponding spatial/temporal variations in, e.g., gravity waves and aerosols. Sophisticated modeling shall be used to understand the underlying physical processes and to study potential applications in climate models. In the ocean, recent developments applying multibeam echosounders suggest a new pathway towards a true multi-dimensional imaging of the structure of the water column. This new approach shall be combined with IOW's expertise in marine turbulence observations and high-resolution ocean modeling, promising fundamental new insights into the threedimensional structure and mechanisms of important oceanographic processes such as internal-wave motions, Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, and surface layer fronts.


  • Muchowski, J., L. Arneborg, L. Umlauf, P. Holtermann, E. Eisbrenner, C. Humborg, M. Jakobsson and C. Stranne (2023). Diapycnal mixing induced by rough small-scale bathymetry. Geophys. Res. Lett. 50: e2023GL103514, doi: 10.1029/2023GL103514
  • Umlauf, L., K. Klingbeil, H. Radtke, R. Schwefel, J. Bruggeman and P. Holtermann (2023). Hydrodynamic control of sediment-water fluxes: Consistent parameterization and impact in coupled benthic-pelagic models. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 128: e2023JC019651, doi: 10.1029/2023JC019651
  • Kopte, R., M. Becker, P. Holtermann and C. Winter (2022). Tides, stratification, and counter rotation: The German Bight ROFI in comparison to other regions of freshwater influence. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 127: e2021JC018236, doi: 10.1029/2021JC018236
  • Muchowski, J., L. Umlauf, L. Arneborg, P. Holtermann, E. Weidner, C. Humborg and C. Stranne (2022). Potential and limitations of a commercial broadband echo sounder for remote observations of turbulent mixing. J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. 39: 1985-2003, doi: 10.1175/jtech-d-21-0169.1