National Science Foundation awards UMassD professor $283,425 for numerical ocean modeling study

The collaborative project will help determine the distribution and fate of water-mass properties, nutrients, and dissolved gases in the ocean.

Miles Sundermeyer, Professor of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology, has been awarded $283,425 by the National Science Foundation for the collaborative numerical modeling project, which involves lateral stirring, a process that determines the distribution and fate of water-mass properties, nutrients, and dissolved gases in the ocean.

The research uses a three-dimensional model to study internal waves and vortex motions in the ocean interior, including the effects of wave interactions and vortex motions on lateral distribution, and how wave energy is transferred from large scales of motion to small scales. The study will also test different forcings, including surface winds and tides, to determine how varying interactions impact turbulence production, dissipation, and wave energy cascades.

“A major advantage of our research is that the relevant dynamics can be explored in the context of a single model, allowing us to clearly explore the transfer of energy and lateral dispersion by the different mechanisms across various parameters and forcing conditions,” said Sundermeyer. “Additionally, the simulations will clarify the underlying physics and inform our understanding of how these processes work in the ocean.”

The research, which is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues Marie-Pascale Lelong and Eric Kunze (Northwest Research Associates), is funded through November 30, 2018.


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