I use theory, idealised models, and observations to improve our understanding of ocean dynamics and the climate system.
Response of the Southern Ocean to changing winds
Because the Southern Ocean wraps all the way around the globe without being blocked by continents it has very different dynamics to the other oceans. The Southern Ocean connects the other oceans to each other, and is where much of the communication between the abyssal ocean and the atmosphere occurs. I’m using models and observational data to improve our understanding of how the Southern Ocean responds to changes in the winds.
The first paper on this work was published in 2017, and can be found here.
Below is an animation of an idealised channel model, simulating several years. You can see the sea ice expand and retreat during the year, and the way it interacts with the eddies.
Overturning circulations in wind-driven gyres
I’m examining the dynamics of wind-driven gyres through the use of a potential vorticity flux framework and Lagrangian particle tracking. The potential vorticity flux framework is described in Polton & Marshall (2007). Recent results show a dynamical balance in which an eddy induced overturning circulation largely opposes for the Eulerian mean overturning circulation. Lagrangian particle tracking techniques reveal that the downwelling observed in the Eulerian mean velocity fields is suppressed in the full time-varying velocity fields. You can read papers describing this work here and here.