Energy transfers in the ocean internal wave field

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The ocean is a sea of internal gravity waves. Similar to the gravity waves that propagate over the ocean surface and break along our coastlines, internal waves propagate great distances through the ocean interior. These waves are generated at the ocean surface and the seafloor by a variety of mechanisms. As the waves propagate, they interact with the ocean currents, jets and eddies. These interactions often involve an exchange of energy either to the internal waves (amplifying them) or away from the waves (weakening them). The location and direction of these energy exchanges tell us about the pathways by which energy moves through the ocean system from the very largest scales where it is injected by tides and winds, to the very smallest scales where it is dissipated as heat.

A number of projects involving the theory and/or modelling of internal waves are available for students at different levels (e.g. undergraduate projects, Hons, MSc, PhD) with an interest in applied mathematics/physics/climate science/oceanography.

Helpful skills: strong mathematics/physics background (essential), experience with scientific analysis software like Matlab/python (useful but not essential), experience with unix and coding (useful but not essential).

Contact: Dr. Callum J. Shakespeare, GFD Group

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