Atmosphere Ocean Science Colloquium

A Lagrangian View of Oceanic Turbulence

Speaker: Dhruv Balwada, Courant

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 3:30 p.m.


Fluid turbulence and its effects pervade all length and time scales of the ocean circulation. Observing and statistically describing the flow at different length scales is important to further our understanding of the ocean dynamics and thus to improve the parameterizations of sub grid (unresolved) processes in circulation models. Lagrangian (water following) instruments allow us to make observations of these multiple scale flows with higher statistical accuracy than can be provided by traditional observing systems. This talk will focus on results from two Lagrangian data sets, which were collected in the deep Southern Ocean and the surface Gulf of Mexico. Analysis of the velocity structure function and its decomposition between divergent and non-divergent motions will be presented along with a discussion of the relevant dynamics. These observations, for the first time in the ocean, allowed a detailed statistical description of the flow over 5 decades of length scales (10m - 1000km).