Particle image velocimetry (PIV) is a technique for measuring current velocities from sequential images by following features embedded within the flow, for example, floating particles or gradients in a tracer field.

The advent of ultra-high-resolution geostationary satellites such as the Himawari (Japanese Meteorological Agency) and GOES (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) missions, which deliver kilometre-scale images of the Earth every 10 minutes, provides an opportunity to use PIV to estimate ocean currents from the observed sea-surface temperature.

In addition to providing an unprecedented view of ocean surface currents at kilometre scales, the velocity fields can be combined with ocean colour images (a proxy for sea-surface chlorophyll concentrations) to study transport and uptake of carbon in the ocean. This project will be co-supervised by Dr Shane Keating (UNSW) and Dr Bror Jönsson (University of New Hampshire, USA).