Viviane Vasconcellos de Menezes

PhD Student

University of Tasmania

Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tasmania

Supervisors: Prof Nathan Bindoff, Dr Helen Phillips, Dr Andreas Schiller

  • Sun Certified Programmer for Java Platform, (2006)
  • M.S. Remote Sensing, Space Research Institute, INPE, Brazil. (1997-1999)
  • B.Sc. Oceanography, State University of Rio de Janeiro, UERJ, Brazil, (1992-1996).

Thesis Title

The dynamics of remarkable near-surface eastward flows in the South Indian Ocean


Viviane is interested in the upper ocean circulation and its impact on the global climate variability. She devotes special attention to the circulation of the subtropical Southern Hemisphere (SH) oceans that are currently not well-established, even at large scale. The ocean circulation in these regions may have even greater impact on the global climate than the Northern Hemisphere counterparts.

In particular, Viviane is investigating the recently described upper-layer eastwards currents that flow quasi-zonally all the way across the South Indian Ocean (SIO). These currents have been recently identified as the South Indian Countercurrent (SICC) and the Eastern Gyral Current (EGC). These currents run in directions opposite to that predicted by the classical Sverdrup theory and have dynamical impacts on the Leeuwin current system in Western Australia. These currents are also important for lobster larval cycles, especially modulating the return pathways, which might be a key factor determining the efficiency of lobster production in Western Australia four years after puerulus settlement.

Viviane’s PhD research has three main objectives: 

  1. To build a detailed picture of the spatial distribution and temporal scales of variability of the SIO eastward flows using for this task a synergy of observations, both in situ and satellite, and model outputs;
  2. To investigate and describe the dynamics of these flows;
  3. To compare these flows with similar subtropical countercurrents in the South Atlantic and in the South Pacific.
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