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Home   /   Thesis   /   Turbulent transport in an idealized patch of ocean

Turbulent transport in an idealized patch of ocean

Condensed matter physics, chemistry & nanosciences Soft matter and complex fluids


The ocean absorbs 90% of the heat associated with global warming and 30% of anthropogenic CO2. How such tracers are accumulated and redistributed within the turbulent ocean is a central issue of long-term climate prediction. The challenge stems from the existence of ocean mesoscale eddies: turbulent vortices tens of kilometers wide that are not resolved by climate models despite being key contributors to ocean transport. A way forward consists in leveraging the scale separation between the mesoscale and the extent of ocean basins. A multiscale expansion indicates that the transport properties of the ocean can be determined from the study of a local “patch” of ocean, before being implemented in a large-scale model.

The goal of the PhD project is thus to determine the turbulent transport properties of a realistic local patch of ocean, based on a hierarchy of models: single-layer models, multi-layer models and fully three-dimensional models, on the f-plane and on the beta-plane. Various ingredients of realistic flows will be considered, such as the influence of bottom topography and the interaction between balanced flows and wave modes. Time-permitting, the resulting transport coefficients will be implemented in global models of increasing complexity.


Institut rayonnement et matière de Saclay
Service de Physique de l’Etat Condensé
Systèmes Physiques Hors-équilibre, hYdrodynamique, éNergie et compleXes
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