This book has been motivated by the recent surge in the density and availability of Lagrangian measurements in the ocean, recent mathematical and methodological developments in the analysis of such data to improve forecasts and transport characteristics of ocean general circulation models, and numerous applications to dispersion of biological species. Another source of motivation has been the Lagrangian Analysis and Prediction of Coastal and Ocean Dynamics (LAPCOD) workshops (www.rsmas.miami.edu/LAPCOD/meetings.html).
The main purpose of this book is to conduct a review of Lagrangian observations, analysis and assimilation methods in physical and biological oceanography, and to present new methodologies on Lagrangian analysis and data assimilation, and new applications of Lagrangian stochastic models from biological dispersion studies. Some of the chapters included in this volume were presented at LAPCOD workshops, while others have been specifically written for this collection. Given the size of the Lagrangian field, the present work cannot be considered as an exhaustive effort, but one which is aimed to cover many of the central research topics. It was our intent to maintain a good balance between historical and state-of-the-art developments in Lagrangian-based observations, theory, numerical modeling and analysis techniques.
This book seems to be a first of its kind because the central theme is the Lagrangian viewpoint for studying the transport phenomena in oceanic flows. Another unique and timely aspect of this book is its multidisciplinary nature with contributions from experimentalists, theoreticians, and modelers from diverse fields such as physical oceanography, marine biology, mathematics, and meteorology.