- Abbreviation for International Association for Biological
See the IABO Web site.
- Abbreviation for the International Arctic Buoy Program, a network
of automatic data buoys for monitoring synoptic-scale fields
of pressure, temperature and ice motion throughout the Arctic
Basin. See the IABP Web site.
- Acronym for International Advisory Committee on Marine Sciences.
This was replaced by SCOR.
- Abbreviation for International Association of Aquatic and Marine
Science Libraries and Information Centers.
- Iapetus Ocean
- A paleogeographic term for the ocean that lay between
Baltica and Laurentia
during the late Precambrian and
early Paleozoic. It was subducted during
the early Paleozoic and is thought to have disappeared completely
by the Late Silurian-early
(around 400 Ma).
- Abbreviation for International Association for Physical
Oceanographers, the name of what is now known as
the IAPSO from 1948 to 1967.
- Abbreviation for International Arctic Polynya Program, an
AOSB project to address the physical and
biological role of polynyas in the Arctic.
- Abbreviation for International Association for the Physical Sciences
of the Ocean, one of seven assocations of the
IUGG, itself one of the unions of the
The IAPSO had its genesis in the formation of a Section of Physical Oceanography
(with Prince Albert of Monaco as its first president)
at the meeting establishing the IUGG in Brussels, Belgium
This Section was renamed the Association of Physical Oceanography (APO)
at a meeting in Seville, Spain in 1929 held separately from the IUGG General
In 1948 it was further renamed to the International Association of
Physical Oceanography (IAPO) at an IUGG General Assembly in Oslo, Norway.
It obtained its present acronym at an IUGG General Assembly held in
Bern, Switzerland in 1967 where it was renamed to International Association
of Physical Sciences of the Ocean, and its present slightly modified
name at an IAPSO General Assembly in Vienna, Austria in 1991.
The IAPSO General Assemblies were split off from those of the IUGG
starting at a meeting in Tokyo, Japan in 1970.
The primary goal of IAPSO is ``promoting the study of scientific problems
relating to the oceans and the interactions taking places at the sea
floor, coastal, and atmospheric boundaries insofar as such research
is conducted by the use of mathematics, physics, and chemistry.''
This goal is addressed through four objectives:
These objectives are carried out through the efforts of the IAPSO Bureau
(consisting of the President and Secretary-General)
and the IAPSO Executive Committee, with most of the organization and
work carried out via various commissions periodically constituted to
address particular areas of interest.
It maintains formal liasons with both
SCOR and IOC.
sponsoring, and co-sponsoring format and informal international forums
permitting ready means of communication amongst ocean scientists throughout
- establishing commissions, sub-committees, and organizing commensurate
workshops to encourage, stimulate, and coordinate new and advanced
international research activities;
- providing basic services significant to the conduct of physical
- publishing proceedings of symposia, meetings, and workshops, and
fundamental references on the current state of the art and knowledge
of physical oceanography.
The presently (1998) constituted IAPSO commissions are the
Commissions on Mean Sea Level and Tides, on Sea Ice, on Natural
Marine Hazards, and for Cooperation with Developing Countries.
There is also a Tsunami Commission jointly constituted with the
IASPEI. Other services are a Permanent Service for Mean
Sea Level (PSMSL and a Standard Seawater
IAPSO publications include a Publications Scientifiques series
(of which 35 have been printed between 1931 and 1995), a Process
Verbaux series of General Assembly reports, a Reports and Abstract
of Communications series of abstracts presented at General Assemblies,
and a general series of yearly reports from commissions and other
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart.
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart of the
Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, an ocean mapping
activity of the IOC.
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean,
an initiative to develop a digital database containing all available
bathymetric data north of 64 degrees north.
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart of the Central
Eastern Atlantic, an ocean mapping activity of
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart of the
Mediterranean and Its Geological and Geophysical Series, a series
of 1:250,000 maps of the bathymetric, geological and geophysical
characteristics of the Mediterrean Sea area. This is an
activity of the IOC.
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart of the
Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart of the Western
Indian Ocean, an ocean mapping activity sponsored by the
IOC, UNESCO, and the German government.
The initial mission of the project is to create a new bathymetric
mapping of the Western Indian Ocean, with future missions
involving the mapping of other measurements such as sediment
thickness, potential fields, and geological structure.
The German Hydrographic Office (GHO) is taking the responsibility for
providing project coordination, editing, conversion to digital media,
printing, and distribution of the new bathymetry.
The IBCWIO is coordinate with four other international regional
ocean mapping projects sponsored by the IOC:
IBCEA, and IBCM,
with the project also coordinate with
- Abbreviation for International Bathymetric Chart for the Western
Pacific, an ocean mapping activity of the IOC.
- Acronym for Ice Backscattering Experiment, a project of the
APL at the University of Washington School
of Oceanography. It was part of ONR's Sea Ice Mechanics
Initiative (SIMI) and was conducted during April 1994.
The goal of IBEX was to use the CABEX
array to image sea ice at 400 Hz and to hopefully observe
crack formation and display the resulting images in
IBEX Web site.
- Iberia Basin
- An ocean basin located to the west of Spain
in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean.
This is connected to the
West Europe Basin to the
north via the Theta Gap and includes the Tagus Abyssal
Plain and the Horseshoe Abyssal Plain. This has also been
called the Spanish Basin.
See Fairbridge (1966).
- ice shelf
- An ice sheet that extends over the sea
and floats on the water. These range in thickness from a few
hundred to over 1000 meters and are connected to land at coastal
grounding lines and where they flow around islands. They calve
icebergs at their seaward fronts and
gain mass by flow from grounded ice sheets and glaciers and from new
snow accumulation. Iceberg calving is the primary ablation
process with melting providing a secondary mechanism.
Ice shelves are key indicators of climate change since they
respond much more rapidly than grounded ice sheets or glaciers
to changes in climate.
The continent of Antarctica is
surrounded by ice shelves, with the largest being the Ross Ice
Shelf, covering over 500,000 km.
- Large floating chunks of ice formed by the breaking off, i.e.
ice sheets at their seaward edges.
- Icelandic low
- A center of action between
Greenland and Iceland and extending to the Canadian Arctic over Baffin
Island. It persists year round with some variation in intensity,
extent, and central location. The center has a mean surface pressure
of around 994 mb in January. See Angell and Korshover (1974).
- Iceland Basin
- See van Aken (1995).
- Iceland-Faroe Front
- An oceanic front topographically locked to the Iceland-Faroe Ridge.
The front separates the waters of the
Atlantic Ocean to the south from
the cold, low salinity waters of the
Arctic Mediterranean to the
More specifically, it separates the Atlantic water from colder
and fresher water which is in most areas a mixture of water from
the north and recirculated
Atlantic Water either from the
North Iceland Irminger Current or
from the Faroe Current.
The near surface expression of the Iceland-Faroe Front is usually
well represented by the path of the 35.00 isohaline.
The Front extends from the southeast coast of Iceland where the
Iceland-Faroe Ridge impinges upon the Icelandic shelf.
The Front is generally sharp with abrupt cross-frontal temperature
and salinity changes as it begins close to Iceland.
As it progresses eastwards, it becomes more diffuse so that north
of the Faroes, cross-frontal gradients become considerably
smaller. There is an associated progressive change in the vertical
slope of the front, from 0.015 at 400 m depth close to Iceland to
a factor of 5 less northeast of the Faroes.
The Front maintains contact with the bottom until it reaches the
sharp eastern corner of the Faroe Plateau, where its near-surface
expression has also become much more diffuse.
The Front is not a smoothly varying boundary, but is typically
distorted by meanders and eddies of 30-50 km scale.
The frontal meanders are probably due to baroclinic instability,
and move eastwards along the front.
The meanders have been measured to propagate with an average
speed of 3.3. km/day and were discernible for 2-3 months.
Eddies derived from unstable meanders are found on both sides
of the Front, with observed scales ranging from 15 to 70 km.
Eddy production is estimated to be about one per day.
The eddies are most pronounced in the 70 km wide uppermost
100 m layer of the Front, although the effects can usually be
seen down to the typical 400 m depth of the crest of the ridge
See Hansen and Osterhus (2000).
- Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water
- A deep water mass found over
the slopes of the Iceland-Scotland Ridge in
the Iceland Basin. The typical characteristcs at around
20W are = 2.5C and S = 34.98.
The main source for ISOW is assumed to be the
NSDW found below the permanent
pycnocline in the
The O and Si concentrations in ISOW are also slightly lower
than in NSDW.
See van Aken (1996).
- Iceland Sea
- A marginal sea located in the North Atlantic Ocean.
It is roughly defined as the waters lying to the west of
Jan Mayen Ridge at about 7 W. It adjoins the waters
of the Norwegian Sea to the
east, the Greenland Sea to
the north, the Denmark Strait to the west, and the
North Atlantic Ocean to the south.
The average depth of this region is about 1128 m.
In the summer, the volume of the Iceland Sea is composed of about 60%
Greenland Sea Deep Water (GSDW),
30% upper and lower
Arctic Intermediate Water (AIW),
with the remaining 10% distributed among the
Polar Intermediate Water (PIW),
- surface water masses (i.e.
Polar Water (PW),
Atlantic Water (AW), and
Arctic Surface Water (ASW)).
See Swift (1986),
Hopkins (1991) and
Buch et al. (1996).
- Acronym for International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, a
scientific forum for the exchange of information and ideas on the
sea and its living resources and for the promotion and coordination
of marine research by scientists within its member countries.
ICES, the oldest intergovernmental organization in the world concerned
with marine and fisheries science, was established in Copenhagen
While it was established in 1902, it had its genesis in an international
conference convened by King Oscar II of Sweden in Stockholm in the
spring of 1899.
Both good and bad fishing years had started to so greatly affect
seafaring nations in the 19th century that several governments had
appointed committees and commissions to study fishing in their
The 1899 conference was proposed to create a larger and more
comprehensive program of research not confined to the territorial
waters of any single nation.
The delegates were a who's who of reknowned ocean scientists at
the time including John Murray, Victor Hensen, Friedrich Heincke,
Otto Krummel, Otto Pettersson, Gustav Ekman, Theodor Cleve,
Fridtjof Nansen, and Johan Hjort.
After three years of resolving various political and scientific
differences, the ICES was finally established in 1902 with charter
members Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Norway, Russia
See Thomasson (1981).
ICES Web site.
- Acronym for International Cooperative Investigation for the
Tropical Atlantic, an IOC project.
- Acronym for the Canadian Inland Waters, Coastal and Ocean Information
Network. See the ICOIN Web site.
- Acronym for International Commission for the Scientific Exploration
of the Mediterranean Sea.
- Abbreviation for Inter-Secretariat Committee on Scientific Programs
Relating to Oceanography, composed of UN/FAO/UNESCO/WMO/IMO.
- Abbreviation for
Indian Central Water.
- ideal gas law
- A simplifed
equation of state that can be
used to relate the pressure, density and temperature of gases
in a dry atmosphere. The law can be stated as
where is the pressure, the density and
the temperature. is the gas constant for
dry air and equal to 287.053 JKkg or
0.287053 kPaKmkg. This can also be used for
calculations with moist air via the
- Acronym for International Decade of Exploration and Assessment of
the Seas. Now defunct.
- Abbreviation for International Directory of Marine Scientists.
- Abbreviation for International Decade of Ocean Exploration, an
IOC initiative lasting from 1971-1980.
IDOE was a long-term, multipurpose oceanographic research program
carried out on an international cooperative basis during the 1970s.
The idea was first proposed by the U.S. President in March 1968, and
endorsed by the U.N. in December 1968.
The NSF was charged with planning, managing
and funding the U.S. part of IDOE in late 1969. The goals of IDOE were to:
- provide the scientific basis needed to improve environmental
- determine the potential resources of the ocean floor;
- determine the quality of the ocean world environment, evaluate
the impact of human activities on that environment, and establish a
scientific understanding of the basis for corrective actions needed
to preserve it;
- improve worldwide data exchange through updating and standardizing
national and international marine data colllection, processing and
- provide basis knowledge of biological processes needed for the
intelligent use of living ocean resources.
The cooperative projects accomplished in pursuit of these objectives
the Seabed Assessment Program,
Project FAMOUS and the
Living Resources Program.
- Abbreviation for
Instituto Españal de Oceanografía, the national
oceanographic institute of Spain.
IEO Web site.
- Abbreviation for
inverted echo sounder.
- Acronym for Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation
de la Mer.
See the IFREMER Web site.
- Abbreviation for International Field Year on the Great Lakes.
See Csanady (1974).
- Abbreviation for International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, a scientific
research program built around a family of core projects whose mission
is to deliver scientific knowledge to help human societies develop in
harmony with Earth's environment.
The core projects are:
- BAHC (Biospheric Aspects of the Hydrological
- GAIM (Global Analysis, Integration and Modeling);
- GCTE (Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems);
- GLOBEC (Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics);
- IGAC (International Global Atmospheric Chemistry);
- IGBP-DIS (Data and Information Services);
- JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study);
- LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interactions in the
- LUCC (Land-Use and Land-Cover Change);
- PAGES (Past Global Changes);
- START (System for Analysis, Research and Training);
- Acronym for integrated global ocean monitoring.
- Acronym for Integrated Global Observating Strategy, a program to unite the
major satellite and surface-based systems for global environmental
observations of the atmosphere, oceans and land.
The major objectives of IGOS include:
- strengthening space-based/in situ linkages to improve the balance
between satellite remote sensing and ground- or ocean-based observing
- encouraging the transition from research to operational environmental
observations within appropriate institutional structures;
- improving data policies and facilitating data access and exchange;
- stimulating better data archiving to build the long-term time series
needed to monitor environmental change; and
- increasing attention to harmonization, quality assurance, and
calibration/validation so data can be used more effectively.
- Acronym for the Integrated Global Ocean Services System.
See the IGOSS Web site.
- Abbreviation for International Greenland Sea Project.
- Abbreviation for International Geophysical Year, and ICSU project
- Abbreviation for International Hydrographic Bureau, later replaced by
- Abbreviation for International Hydrographic Organization, located in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The IHO is an intergovernmental consultative and technical organization
working to support the safety of navigation and the protection of the
The genesis of the IHO was at a Hydrographic Conference in London in
1919 where 24 nations met and decided to create a permanent body.
This led to the creation of the International Hydrographic Burea (IHB)
in 1921 with 19 Member States. The IHB was provided with headquarters
in the Principality of Monaco at the invitation of Prince Albert I.
The name of the organization was changed to IHO (with the headquarters
in Monaco remaining the IHB) in 1970.
As of 1998, the IHO has 62 maritime States with ten more in the process
of becoming members.
The official representative of each Member State is usually the
national Hydrographer or Director of Hydrography, with these persons
(along with their technical staffs) meeting every 5 years in Monaco
for an International Hydrographic Conference. There progress is
reviewed on current projects, new projects are adopted, and a Directing
Committee of three senior hydrographers is elected to guide the Bureau
until the next conference.
The chief activities of the IHO are:
- working towards standardization in the specifications, symbols, style
and formats used for nautical charts and related publications;
- producing a common, worldwide chart series (INT charts) to a single set of
agreed specifications, with the program for INT small scale (i.e.
1/10,000,000 and 1/3,500,000) charts started in 1971 completed and those
for large and medium scales proceeding rapidly;
- managing radio navigational warnings via the Global Maritime Distress
and Safety System (GMDSS);
- coordinating the development of Electronic Chart Display and Information
Systems (ECDIS) to ensure the standardization of specifications, including
the establishment of the IHO Data Center for Digital Bathymetry (DCDB)
located at the NGDC;
- creating and publishing (along with the Fédération
Internationale des Géomètres, or FIG) a comprehensive set of
standards of competence for hydrographic surveyors;
- providing technical assistance for establishing and strengthening
the hydrographic capabilities of developing nations;
- examining and archiving copies of every unclassified new chart and
publication of each Member State (with the archives holding more than
- overseeing a computerized Tidal Constituent Data Bank (TCDB) which
archives and supplies data for over 4,000 tidal stations;
- encouraging the establishment of Regional Hydrographic Commissions
and advising those thus established;
- overseeing such services as the World Series of Bathymetric Plotting
Sheets and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans
- publishing associated material.
Among the more than 40 publications of the IHO are the semi-annual
International Hydrographic Review (containing original
papers on technical aspects in the fields of hydrography,
descriptive oceanography, and cartography), the monthly
International Hydrographic Bulletin (containing topical
news of worldwide hydrographic activities including lists of
charts and nautical publications of member states), a Yearbook, an Annual
Report, and numerous other limited, specialty publications.
- Abbreviation for International Indian Ocean Expedition, an
IOC project carried out in 1964.
It included the first intensive measurements of simultaneous
momentum, heat and moisture fluxes using profile methods.
- Acronym for International Marine Global Change Study, a joint project
of SCOR and PAGES whose
primary goals are to quantify climate and chemical variability of the
ocean on time scales of oceanic and cryospheric processes, determine
the sensitivity of the ocean to identified internal and external
forcing functions, and determine the ocean's role in controlling
atmospheric CO. A global program including at least 30 dedicated
oceanographic expeditions from 1994-2004 is planned to answer questions
concerning how changes in ocean properties controlled the evolution
of global heat transfer through to deep and surface ocean and so
modified the climate, how changes in ocean circulation, chemistry, and
biological activity have interacted to generate the observed record of
pCO over the past 300 Ka, and how close continental climate has
been linked to ocean surface and deep water properties.
- Abbreviation for Irish Marine Data Center.
IMDC Web site.
- implicit scheme
- In numerical modeling, an integration algorithm that temporally advances
an approximate solution via discrete steps using information
from present as well as
from previous time steps. These are computationally more complex than
explicit schemes but allow longer
time stepping intervals and usually have better
numerical stability properties.
See Kowalik and Murty (1993).
- Abbreviation for Institute of Marine Research, a research
institute located in Bergen, Norway.
IMR Web site.