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In geophysics "island wakes" is a definition used to refer to atmospheric effects induced by the island mountains' (atmospheric wakes), as well as ocean effects induced by the island's bathymetry (ocean wakes). Ocean wakes, can be grouped into two main categories (i) wakes induced by atmospheric phenomena (e.g. wind induced wakes), and (ii) wakes induced by the oceanic phenomena (e.g. ocean current wakes). Both atmospheric and oceanic wakes have been the subject of intense study by the scientific community. However, few studies focused on the effect of atmospheric wakes on the formation of ocean wakes. Furthermore, little is known about the "life cycle" of either of these wakes i.e. How they evolve in time and space? What leads to their formation and dissipation?
"Study of island wakes, from birth to dissipation" is the title of a scientific project, funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (POCI/MAR/57265/2004) The main objectives of this project are: (i) the study of the relationship between atmospheric and oceanic wakes; (ii) the study of their life cycles. It focuses on the effects of the islands' of Madeira Archipelago (Madeira and Porto Santo), to the incoming atmospheric and oceanic flows. Madeira is an Archipelago located in the Northeast Atlantic (32ºN; 17ºW). The occurrence of island wakes has been inferred from satellite data and from the analysis of in situ data (Caldeira et al., 2002).

 Nevertheless, the study of Madeira wake dynamics is still poorly discussed in the scientific literature.

The project is lead by a multidisciplinary team at University of Madeira, in collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of Oceanography (IO) at the University of Lisbon. Team members have backgrounds in physical oceanography, meteorology and mathematics. Complementary to the scientific objectives, and taking advantage of the team technical expertise, an experimental meteorological and oceanic forecast for Madeira will be implemented and accessible through this site. Nevertheless, the project also benefits from a crescent list of collaborative institutions, which were not on the original proposal, but that are whiling to contribute with complementary technical expertise, help with the logistics of the project, and/or provide access to more oceanographic and computational resources, those include: Centro de Ciências Matemáticas (CCM); Museu da Baleia (CMM); Portuguese Hidrographic Institute of the Navy; Estação de Biologia Marinha do Funchal (EBM); CREPAD – Centro de Recepción, Proceso, Archivo y Distribución de datos de Observación de la Tierra, Spanish defense ministry; as well as CIMAR – Centro de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental da Universidade do Porto.
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