Welcome to a guided tour of the Indian Ocean's oceanography and climatology!


Historically, scientists started to be interested by regional aspects of the Indian Ocean to acquire detailed knowledge of sea routes, depths, tides, winds and currents, for the use of naval ships and merchant marines. Today, there are many other reasons to study the Indian Ocean. This document aims to present some of these reasons, by reviewing historically and bibliographically the existing work that has been achieved on the oceanography and climatology of the Indian Ocean.

The main scientific interests for studying the Indian Ocean can be very classically divided in two different types depending on the space and time scales of study- on a regional scale at seasonal and annual time scales or on a global scale at interannual and longer time scales. The relevant oceanographic and climatologic patterns will be reviewed by pointing out their characteristics and the specific questions that they arise.

The first part of this document is a " guided tour " of the Indian Ocean describing the particular seasonal and annual cycle of its oceanic circulation. The second part will focus on the interannual variability in the Indian Ocean and its relationship with the global climate, namely the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, through air-sea interactions.

In the third part of this presentation, socio-economical aspects which require the applications of scientific research will be presented.

Have a nice trip...