IGPP Seminar Series

Submesoscale flows: From Space to the Ocean

by Jeroen Molemaker
IGPP, UCLA

Abstract

First observed on the Apollo-Saturn mission on 1968 and later extensively documented by the first 'Oceanographer from Space' while aboard the Challenger in 1984 submesoscale (< 10 km) structures are still poorly understood. While recognized as being crucially important for their influence of larger scale currents, these structures are generally not resolved by most existing satellite observing systems. In addition, numerical models of the ocean are only recently starting to reach into this range of scales, bridges the gap between mostly well know mesoscale phenomena on one side and isotropic turbulence on the other side. Aided by large scale computer simulations, we are attempting to link the few existing space based observations with actual flow dynamics in the ocean. As we understand the dynamics of these submesoscale structures increasingly well, we are slowly uncovering the 60 year old mystery of the closure of the global ocean energy budget.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
3853 Slichter Hall
Refreshments at 3:45 PM
Lecture at 4:00 PM