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by Rosemary Morrow — last modified Sep 02, 2012 09:33 AM


Rosemary Morrow


Physicienne CNAP, OMP

Adresse: LEGOS

14 avenue Edouard BELIN

Email :
Téléphone : 05 61 33 29 44





Academic Degrees:

- Habilitation à Diriger la Recherche, Mai 2007. Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III.

- PhD Thesis, 1993. Sydney University, Australia (Physical Oceanography).

- Master of Science, 1987. Sydney University, Australia.

- Bachelor of Science (Honours Class 1) in Marine Science, 1984. Sydney University, Australia.


Principal Resposabilities  - Scientific and Administrative :

- Head of French National Altimetric Observation Service: Centre de Topographie des Océans since 1997.

- Scientific programme leader : SURVOSTRAL (XBT and TSG observations in the Southern Ocean) since 1997.

- Scientific programme leader : FLOSTRAL (ARGO observations in the Southern Indian Ocean) 2001-2006.

Member :

- MyOcean Scientific Advisory Committee, 2009+

- « CLIVAR Southern Ocean Panel » 2002-2005.

- National Commission for Oceanographic Research Cruises « "Océanographie Physique, Chimique et Biologique - OPCB » 2006-2008

- Conseil Scientifique de l’Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées 1998-2001

- Commission de Spécialistes, 37eme Section, Université Toulouse III. 1998-2008+.


Editor, « Ocean Dynamics », 2000-2009.

Editor, « Ocean Dynamics » Special Edition in memory of Christian Le Provost, 2005-2006.


Project Scientist CNES – Jason-1, Jason-2 and Jason-3, 2009 - 2011

Project Scientist CNES – Future Mission SWOT – oceanography component, since 2009

Principal  Investigateur: Topex/Poséïdon Extended Mission (1997-2002)

Principal  Investigateur: Jason-1 Mission (2000-2008), Jason-2 mission (2008+)

Co-Chair : Ocean Surface Topography Science Team meetings (~350 participants international): Seattle, 2009; Lisbon 2010; San Diego, 2011, Venice 2012

Co-Chair : “Ocean & Hydrology applications workshop” (~350 participants international), Lisbon 2010

Co-Chair : Symposium “20 years of Progress in Radar Altimetry”, Venice, 2012


Activités scientifiques  / Principal Research Activities :


Over the last 20 years, my principal research activities have been centred around a better understanding of the role of mesoscale ocean processes in the ocean circulation, using a combination of satellite altimetry, satellite SST, and in-situ observations.


Past studies have included :

  • Southern Ocean eddy momentum fluxes and their impact on the mean jets
  • Assimilation of altimetry and in-situ data using adjoint techniques in a regional model of the NE Atlantic Ocean
  • Export of tropical waters to the subtropics via coastal waves and Rossby waves in the SE Indian Ocean
  • Eddy heat and salt fluxes in the SE Indian Ocean, and in the Southern Ocean south of Australia
  • Divergent pathways for cyclones and anti-cyclones tracked over long periods.
  • Role of eddies in transporting cool, fresh water into the Subantarcic Zone
  • Formation mechanisms in the surface mixed layer in the Southern Ocean
  • Role of subsurface heating and frontal movements on the mean sea level rise in the Southern Ocean
  • Formation and modification of Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) in the Southern Ocean
  • Role of eddy diffusion in the formation of SAMW
  • Lagrangian pathways of SAMW and AAIW in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the role of eddy mixing processes in their formation and modification


These studies have resulted in over 35 publications in peer-review journals, and 4 book chapters. I have also supervised a number of Masters Projects, PhD Theses and Post-Docs.


This research work is part time. My other activities are centred around maintaining precise, long term observations for climate studies, maintaining a National satellite altimeter data base and two in-situ data networks.


Satellite Altimetry.

My activities for the satellite altimetry community include the leadership of a French National Observation Service dedicated to satellite altimetry data – the CTOH (Centre de Topography des Oceans et de l’Hydrosphère – This Service specialises in providing data to users to develop new and non-standard altimetry applications, in particular for coastal and mesoscale ocean applications, for terrestrial surface waters, and for cryosphere applications. We have ~40 internal users at LEGOS developing new altimetic applications, and ~150 external users of our improved altimetric data bases and specialised products. Our data bases are particularly used by researchers who do not have the infrastructure for maintaining the large altimetric data bases for non-standard applications. Our external users are mainly in Europe, the US and Canada, South America (Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile), Australia, India, China and Africa.


Since early 2009, I also work as Project Scientist for the CNES altimetry missions, notably for the ocean applications of Jason-1, Jason-2, Jason-3 and the future altimetric-interferometric mission, SWOT. Since 2009, I am also a member of the MyOcean Scientific Advisory Committee, which provide the ocean component for the European GMES programme.


In-situ data Networks

Since 1997, I have been in charge of the French-Australian-US project SURVOSTRAL which monitors the upper ocean temperature and salinity changes in the Southern Ocean.  (  The project has 20 years of a seasonally repeating high-density XBT line between Australia and the French Antarctic base at Dumont D’Urville, and continuous underway sampling of sea-surface salinity. This measurement series has been chosen as a validation region for the SMOS surface salinity mission, as part of the French GLOSCAL Project.


Between 2001-2007, I was also in charge of the FLOSTRAL project, where 30 ARGO floats were deployed. A combined analysis of ARGO data, satellite altimetry and SST data, and numerical models has been used to study the formation, circulation and modification of Subantarctic Mode waters in the Southern Indian Ocean. This contribution to the international ARGO Programme was a combined French-US Project. (



Activités d’enseignements / Teaching :

Since 1995, I am also a part-time lecturer at the University of Toulouse III (Université Paul Sabatier). I teach the following courses in the Masters Program:

  • Introduction to Dynamical Oceanography
  • Satellite techniques for ocean applications

I also give courses in oceanography and satellite applications at ISAE (SupAero), and the French Military Schools.

Since 2002, I have also participated at the bi-annual Summer School on Satellite Oceanography at Ensenada, Mexico, teaching the satellite altimetry courses.

In 2012, I taught the Introduction to Dynamical Oceanography course at the USTH Matsers Programme in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Funded Projects :


  • Altimetry at the Centre de Topographie des Océans et de l’Hydrosphère (CTOH) (2004-2008) R. Morrow (PI), F. Birol, Y. Menard, J. Sudre
  • Using satellite  data to understand upper ocean processes in mid to high latitudes (2004-2008) N. Ayoub (PI), R. Morrow
  • Regional CALVAL and altimetry activities at the Centre de Topographie des Océans et de l’Hydrosphère (CTOH) - (2008-2012) F. Birol (PI), R. Morrow, Y. Menard, F. Lyard
  • Eddy transports, diffusion and mixing in the Southern Ocean (2008-2012) R. Morrow (PI), F. D’Ovidio, A. Koch-Larrouy, J.B. Sallée
  • SWOT – Océans (2012-2012) R. Morrow (PI), B. Chapron, J. Verron, P. Klein, F. D’Ovidio, P. Demey, L. Eymard, M. Levy.
GMMC - Mercator
  • FLOSTRAL (2002-2004) R. Morrow (PI), G. MAdec, N. Meztl, S. Speich, K.Speer
  • Mélange induit par les tourbillons et formation de masse d'eau dans l'océan austral (2007-2008) R. Morrow (PI), A. Koch-Larrouy.
  • MyOcean TAC Sea Level R&D (2009-2011) R. Morrow (PI), R. Dussurget, G. Dencausse
  • MyOcean II TAC Sea Level R&D (2012-2013). R. Morrow (PI)


Publications by date :

  • Morrow, R.A. (1984) « A model of stratification in eastern Bass Strait ». Honours Thesis, Université de Sydney, Australie.
  • Morrow, R.A. (1988) « Bass Strait forcing of coastal trapped waves ». Masters Thesis, Université de Sydney, Australie.
  • Morrow, R.A., Stabeno, P.J., Smith, R.L. and Jones, I.S.F. (1990). "Bass Strait Forcing of Coastal Trapped Waves: ACE Revisited." J.Phys. Oceanogr. Vol.20, pp 1528-1538.
  • Morrow, R.A. (1992) « Surface eddy variability and eddy momentum flux in the Southern Ocean from Geosat altimetry » PhD Thesis, Université de Sydney, Australie.
  • Morrow, R.A., Church, J.A., Coleman, R., Chelton, D. and White, N.J. (1992). "Eddy Momentum Flux and its contribution to the Southern Ocean Momentum Balance". Nature. Vol 357; pp 482-484.
  • Van Gysen, H., Coleman, R., Morrow, R., Rizos, C.,  and Hirsch, B. (1992). " Analysis of Collinear Passes of Satellite Altimeter Data" J. Geophys. Res , Vol 97,C2,pp 2265-2277.


  • Morrow, R.A., Coleman, R., Church, J.A. et D. Chelton (1994). "Velocity Variance and Eddy Momentum Flux in the Southern Ocean from GEOSAT Satellite Altimetry", J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24, 2050-2071.
  • Wilkin, J. et R.A. Morrow (1994) "Eddy Kinetic Energy and Momentum Flux in the Southern Ocean: Comparison of a Global Eddy-Resolving Model with Altimeter, Drifter and Current Meter Data" J. Geophys. Res., 99(C4), 7903-7916.


  • Hernandez, F., Le Traon, P.Y., et R.A. Morrow (1995)  “Comparison of Topex/Poseidon and ERS-1 altimeter data with Semaphore in-situ data”. J. Geophys. Res.,100(C12), 24995-25006.
  • Morrow, R.A. et P. De Mey (1995)  “Adjoint variational assimilation of altimeter and surface drifter data in the Azores Current Region”. J. Geophys. Res., 100(C12), 25007-25025.


  • Morrow R. A, and F. Birol, 1998. Variability in the south-east Indian Ocean from altimetry : forcing mechanisms for the Leeuwin Current, J. Geophys. Res., 103, 18,529-18,544.


  • Belviso, S., R. Morrow, N. Mihalopoulous (2000). “An Atlantic meridional transect of surface water DMS concentrations with 10-15 km resolution and close examination of ocean circulation”. J. Geophys. Res., 105, D11, 14,423-14,431.
  • Le Traon, P.-Y., and R.A. Morrow, 2000. “Ocean eddies and currents”. In, Satellite Altimetry and Earth Sciences, Eds L.L. Fu and A. Cazenave, Academic Press.


  • Birol F. and R. A. Morrow, 2001. Source of the baroclinic waves in the southeastern Indian Ocean., J. Geophys. Res., 106, C5, 9145-9160.
  • Chaigneau , A. and R.A. Morrow, 2001. Surface temperature and salinity variations between Tasmania and Antarctica, 1993-1999. J.Geophys. Res.,107 (C12), 8020, doi:10.1029/2001JC000808.


  • Morrow, R. A., A. Brut and A. Chaigneau, 2002. Seasonal and interannual variations of the upper ocean energetics between Tasmania and Antarctica, Deep Sea Res., 50/3, 339 - 356.


  • Birol F. and R. A. Morrow, 2003. Separation of the semiannual Rossby waves from the southeastern Indian Ocean coast, J. Marine Res.,61, 707-723.
  • Fang, F. and R. Morrow, Evolution and structure of Leeuwin Current eddies in 1995-2000. Deep Sea Res., Deep Sea Res. II, 50, 2245-2261, 2003.
  • Morrow, R.A., F. Fang, M. Fieux and R. Molcard. “Anatomy of three warm-core Leeuwin Current eddies”. Deep Sea Res.II, 50, 2229-2243, 2003.


  • Chaigneau A., Morrow R. and S. Rintoul, 2004. Seasonal and interannual evolution of the mixed layer in the Antarctic Zone, south of Tasmania. Deep-Sea Research I, 51, 2047-2072.
  • Morrow R. A, F. Birol, D. Griffin and J. Sudre, 2004. Divergent pathways of cyclonic and anti-cyclonic ocean eddies, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L24311, doi:10.1029/2004GL020974.
  • Morrow R., Donguy J.R., Chaigneau A. and S. Rintoul, 2004. Cold core anomalies at the Subantarctic Front, south of Tasmania. Deep-Sea Research I, 51, 1417-1440.


  • Fieux M., R. Molcard and R. Morrow . Leeuwin Current and Eddies off Western Australia. Deep Sea Res. I, 52, 1617-1635, 2005.
  • Fieux M., R. Molcard, R. Morrow and A. Kartavtseff . Variability of the throughflow at its exit in the Indian Ocean. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L14616, doi:10.1029/2005GL022836, 2005.
  • Sallee, J.B. N. Wienders, K. Speer and R.A. Morrow, 2006a. Formation of subantarctic mode water in the southeastern Indian Ocean, Ocean Dynamics, 56, 5-6, pp. 525-542.


  • Morrow, R.A. (2007).La dynamique océanique méso-échelle à moyenne - haute latitude observée par les données altimétriques et in-situ ». Diplôme d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches de l’Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse III)


  • Morrow, R., Valladeau, G., and Sallee, J. (2008). Observed subsurface signature of Southern Ocean decadal sea level rise. Prog. Oceanogr. Vol 77/4 pp 351-366
  • Sallée, J.B. ; Morrow, R. and Speer, K, 2008. Southern Ocean fronts and their variability to climate modes, J. Climate, Vol. 21, 3020–3039.
  • Sallée, J.B; Morrow, R. ; Speer, K., 2008. Eddy heat diffusion and Subantarctic Mode Water formation, Geophys. Res. Lett, 35, L05607, doi:10.1029/2007GL032827
  • Sallée, J.B. ; Morrow, R. ; Speer, K. and Lumpkin, R. An estimate of Lagragian eddy statistics and diffusion in the mixed layer of the Southern Ocean, submitted to J. Mar. Res., 2008
  • Sudre, J. and R. Morrow, 2008. Global surface currents : a high-resolution product for investigating ocean dynamics. Ocean Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s10236-008-0134-9.


  • Koch-Larrouy, A. R. Morrow, T. Penduff, M Juza (2009). Origin and mechanism of Sub Antarctic Mode Water formation and transformation in the Southern Indian Ocean, Ocean Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s10236-010-0276-4.


  • Bouffard J., L. Roblou, F. Birol, A. Pascual, L. Fenoglio-Marc, M. Cancet, R. Morrow and Y. Ménard, 2010: Introduction and assessment of improved coastal altimetry strategies: case study over the North Western Mediterranean Sea. Chapter in “Coastal Altimetry”, Springer Verlag Edition, Editors: Stefano Vignudelli, Andrey Kostianoy, Paolo Cipollini and Jêrôme Benveniste (In Press).
  • Fu, L.L, D.B. Chelton, P.-Y. Le Traon, and R. Morrow, 2010.  Eddy Dynamics from Satellite Altimetry,  Oceanography Magazine, Volume 23, Number 4.
  • Lambin, J., R. Morrow, L-L. Fu, J. K. Willis, H. Bonekamp, J. Lillibridge, J. Perbos, G.Zaouche, P. Vaze, W. Bannoura , F. Parisot , E. Thouvenot , S. Coutin-Faye, E. Lindstrom, M. Mignogno, 2010. The OSTM/Jason-2 Mission, Mar. Geodesy, 33, 4-25.
  • Morrow, R., M. L. Ward, A. M. Hogg, and S. Pasquet (2010), Eddy response to Southern Ocean climate modes, J. Geophys. Res., 115, C10030, doi:10.1029/2009JC005894.
  • Morrow, R.A, L.L. Fu, 2010. Preface to the OSTM/Jason-2 Special Issue. Mar. Geodesy, 33, 1-3.
  • Talley, L., R. Fine, R. Lumpkin, N. Maximenko, R. Morrow, 2010. Surface circulation and ventilation. In OceanObs09, Special Edition (in press).


  • Dussurget, R. F. Birol, R. Morrow, P. Demey, 2011. Fine resolution altimetry data for a regional application in the Bay of Biscay. Mar. Geodesy, 34, 447-476.
  • Hasson, A. ; A. Koch-Larrouy ; R. Morrow ; M. Juza ; T. Penduff, 2011. The Origin and Fate of Mode Water in the Southern Pacific Ocean, Ocean Dynamics, 62, 335-354. doi:10.1007/s10236-011-0507-3
  • Morrow, R.A. and P.-Y. Le Traon, 2011. Recent advances in observing mesoscale ocean dynamics with satellite altimetry. J. Adv. Space Res. (2011), doi:10.1016/j.asr.2011.09.033.
  • Morrow, R.A, L.L. Fu, 2011. Preface to the OSTM/Jason-2 Special Issue, Volume II. Mar. Geodesy , 34, 189-190.
  • Willis, J. R. Morrow, 2011. Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting. The Earth Observer, vol 23, Issue 2. pp. 26-30.


  • Crétaux J-F, Bergé-Nguyen M, Calmant S, Romanovski V.V, Meyssignac B, Perosanz, F, Tashbaeva S, Arsen A, Fund F, Martignago N, Bonnefond P, Laurain O, Morrow R., Maisongrande P. Calibration of Envisat radar altimeter over Lake Issykkul. Advances in Space Research (submitted).
  • Fu, L.-L., R. Morrow. Remote sensing of the global ocean circulation. In Ocean Circulation and Climate Vol 2, Eds Siedler, Church, Gould, Academic Press (in press)
  • Dibarboure, G., P.Schaeffer, P.Escudier, M-I.Pujol, J.F.Legeais, Y.Faugère, R.Morrow, J.K.Willis, J.Lambin, J.P.Berthias, N.Picot. Finding desirable orbit options for the “Extension of Life” phase of Jason-1. Mar. Geodesy – Jason-2 Special Issue Vol 3 (in press)
  • Mulet, S., M.-H. Rio, A. Mignot, S. Guinehut, R. Morrow., A new estimate of the global 3D geostrophic ocean circulation based on satellite data and in-situ measurements. Deep-Sea Res. II (2012),



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