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The operational modelling of ocean currents is used both by shipping and fisheries, as well as oil producers who install large platforms in this environment. The mapping of ocean floor topography is also an important input to the latter.

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Understanding the 'OC' in GOCE

25 November 2014

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A year after the satellite reentered the atmosphere, scientists using data from the GOCE satellite have made a breakthrough in our understanding of ocean currents.

The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer, or GOCE, mapped variations in Earth's gravity with unrivalled precision, resulting in the most accurate shape of the 'geoid' - a hypothetical global ocean at rest - ever produced.

While the mission is well known for its gravity measurements, the second mission objective as an 'ocean circulation explorer' has reached a milestone.

Using GOCE data, scientists have produced the most accurate model of ocean current speeds to date.

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