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NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY
Ocean Sciences Branch
Dynamics of Coupled Processes Section
Code 7331


Overview of Section 7331

The hydrodynamical and thermodynamical processes of the oceans are driven by the exchanges of momentum, mass and energy with the atmosphere and polar icecaps and by the gravitational forces between the earth, sun and moon. The oceans' physical dynamical processes are important elements that control biological and non-biological (inorganic) distributions. Dissolved and particulate products can measurably affect the hydrodynamical, acoustical, and thermal conditions through modification of the inherent optical properties and distribution of optical/acoustic scatterers/absorbers. The spatial and temporal distributions of biota and their products are determined by the availability of food, nutrients, solar radiation, and ocean/atmospheric dynamics. Additionally, the distribution of inorganic material is also governed by boundary fluxes across the ocean-sediment interface, the air-sea interface, and lateral boundaries through river input, a component intimately linked to the hydrological cycle. Important dynamical, bi-directional coupling also occurs between the ocean and atmosphere at scales that range from the global impacts of the Southern Oscillation/El Niņo to the small-scale effects of aerosol ejection by bubbles. Clearly, the long-term need is for the development of a fully coupled air-ocean-land model that extends across a wide range of space and time scales. Integration of these models is necessary to support a system that will be useful for such diverse needs as tactical planning, oil spill management, long range weather prediction, farming, fishing, environmental protection and conservation.

Research Thrusts

  • Coupling Coastal and Open-Ocean Processes Across Multiple Scales
  • Predictions of the Distributions of Biological and Optical Properties
  • Large to Submesoscale Air-sea Dynamical Coupling
  • Simulating and Predicting Nonhydrostatic Phenomena in the Coastal Ocean
  • Synthesis of Hydrodynamical and Acoustical Modeling at Submesoscales

Projects

  • Coupled Air-Ocean Processes
  • Modeling Dynamical/Acoustical Space-Time Coherence

Point of Contact
Project Principal Investigator - Dr. Igor Shulman
Last revised: 22-April-2003
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