Transition to Turbulence in Flow over Rough Topography in the Southern Ocean

Started: Oct 2019
Supervisor: Mashayek, A.

Description of Research

Understanding the distribution and uptake of heat, carbon, and other tracers in our oceans is of great importance in climate models. It is an emerging picture that deep ocean turbulence exerts a control on the global overturning circulation through water mass transformation by diapycnal mixing at rough bottom topography and boundaries. Such small scale turbulence and even the relevant topographic features are often of a size unresolvable in global climate models, so effective parametrisation of these processes is essential, requiring advanced physical understanding.

Geostrophic motions flowing over rough topography in the energetic Antarctic circumpolar current are known to be an important source of mixing, through both locally breaking lee waves and non-propagating vortical motions. This project will investigate the impact of these mechanisms on turbulent breakdown near rough bottom topography in order to better understand mixing characteristics in the Southern Ocean. 


Lois obtained a BA and MMath in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge.

Lois BakerPhD Candidate - Fluid Mechanics 
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering 
Imperial College London SW7 2AZ