Journal subject areas

The journal covers instrument development, in situ observations, remote sensing, data assimilation, laboratory, and numerical and theoretical studies of the following:

  • air–sea fluxes;
  • surface waves;
  • sea ice;
  • internal waves;
  • turbulence and mixing;
  • temperature, salinity, and density fields;
  • ocean currents and eddies;
  • tides, equatorial waves, and midlatitude waves;
  • chemical, biochemical, and biological distributions and transport;
  • chemical, biochemical, biological, and physical interactions;
  • ocean productivity;
  • ocean ecology;
  • sediment processes;
  • sea level;
  • operational oceanography.

The coverage of the journal is worldwide and includes the deep ocean, the shelf seas, and inland seas, now, in the past, and the future. By publishing articles freely on the Internet, the journal aims to make the latest oceanographic developments rapidly available to all people wherever they are. By encouraging discussion of each paper, it aims to raise standards, improve the flow of information, identify the limits to our present understanding, and stimulate further effective oceanographic research.


The following keywords are used by authors to describe each paper. The same keywords are also used by the alert service and the editor assignment. The keywords are split into five groups: depth range, approach, geographical range, properties and processes, and challenges.

Each paper and each alert request should include one or more keywords from each of the five groups.

Depth range surface, bottom boundary layer, mixed layer, thermocline, shelf-sea depth, sea bed, vents/seeps, surf zone, deltas, estuaries, regions of freshwater influence
Approach in situ observations, moorings & buoys, ocean observatories, underwater vehiclesinstrument development, remote sensing, instrument development, acoustics, imaging, sensors, micro-fluidics, laboratory studies, analytic theory, numerical models, data assimilation, operational oceanography
Geographical range Baltic Sea, Caribbean, China Sea, deep seas (Arctic Ocean, Equatorial Ocean, Indian Ocean, North Atlantic, North Pacific, South Atlantic, South Pacific, Southern Ocean), Indonesian seas, inland seas, Japan Sea, Mediterranean Sea, nordic seas, Red Sea, shelf seas, Antarctic
Properties and processes air–sea fluxes, biogeochemistry, transports/cycling (nutrients, C, O, etc.), plankton, higher trophic levels, gyres, eddies, "Modes of variability" e.g. ENSO, overturning circulation, convection, surface waves, internal waves, tsunami and surges, sub-inertial waves, sea level, sediments, water mass, tides, turbulence and mixing, sea and ice, sea-bed morphology, water cycle
Challenges oceans and climate, palaeoceanography, ocean-shelf interactions, oceanic ecosystems, ocean-groundwater interaction, ocean acidification, harmful algae, coastal protection, oceanic pollution