Physical oceanography is the study of the physics of the ocean. As such, the discipline encompasses a very broad diversity of phenomena, ranging from the smallest space and time scales of order 1 second and 1 cm associated with vertical turbulent mixing, to the largest space and time scales of order centuries and 10,000 km associated with global climate variations. The processes occurring at different scales interact in very complicated ways. The multiscale characteristics of physical oceanographic data require sophisticated statistical analysis techniques to investigate a specific process and its interactions with other processes. Collaborative interactions between physical oceanographers and statisticians could potentially result in the development of new and innovative statistical techniques that could improve the present understanding of physical oceanography. The Statistics and Physical Oceanography report reproduced in this volume represents one element of an effort by the Office of Naval Research to stimulate more collaborations between the two disciplines. This introduction to the report provides a framework for understanding the context of the report. For the benefit of statisticians with little or no prior exposure to physical oceanography, this introduction also provides a brief survey of the general topics of physical oceanographic research, a description of the temporal and spatial scales of physical oceanographic data, and a summary of the demographics of physical oceanographers.
"Physical Oceanography: A Brief Overview for Statisticians." Statist. Sci. 9 (2) 150 - 166, May, 1994. https://doi.org/10.1214/ss/1177010480