The objective of the proposed project is to consider rather idealised bottom topography cases (shelf edge, bank, isolated seamounts) and to apply an existing numerical model developed by the applicant to study the topographic influence on two-dimensional monopolar vortices typical of Meddy structures. An integral part of the study is the laboratory simulation of the eddy-topography interactions and the comparisons between the predictions of the model and the laboratory data. In addition, since the work is related to previous and MAST (=Marine Science and Technology) III-planned field investigations of Meddy trajectories in the Canaries-Azores basin, comparisons are possible between model results with oceanic data. Since Meddies are meso-scale features, processes affecting their dynamics are often sub-grid scale for large ocean models of the region; the present study will therefore complement any modelling studies planned within the Canaries-Azores targeted project. The possibility to directly combine both numerical and laboratory modelling aspects of the problem is an innovative feature of the study, as well as the opportunity to extend a so-far numerical modelling background to include practical aspects of laboratory modelling.
The research work will consist of two main components, namely (i) the application of an existing numerical code (developed by the applicant during his post-doc. research in Eindhoven) to cases in which smooth bottom topography is present, and (ii) the completion of a series of laboratory simulation experiments of eddy-topography interactions using the rotating stratified tow-tank facility in Professor Davies' laboratory in Dundee. The latter is a tank filled with a stratified ('layered') fluid which can rotate and which is fitted with a belt arrangement that permits topographic features to be translated uniformly and horizontally at prescribed velocities along the base of the tank. (...)
The project is most clearly relevant to the Canaries-Azores Regional Seas targeted project of MAST III, though the existence of vortices resembling Meddies has also been claimed for other regional seas such as the Baltic and the Red Sea and in both of these regions, topographical effects are thought to be significant. The results of the proposed study will therefore also have more general applicability to other oceanic areas.
The participation of the applicant in the project will expose him to the activities of a very active group in laboratory modelling of oceanic flows, in another part of Europe. In this way the participation will bring benefits to both parties by the introduction and sharing of new ideas. For this particular project, there will be a very valuable technology transfer in both directions; the Dundee group is particularly strong in laboratory fluid dynamics and the applicant has complementary skills in numerical modelling. The joint involvement will aid harmonisation of scientific research in an important area of ocean modelling and enables a problem of direct interest to a targeted MAST project to be explored. The postdoctoral training afforded by the stay in the Dundee laboratory will enhance significantly the scientific credentials of the applicant and will equip him with additional skills for his future career development.
This is a slightly adapted version of the text of the proposal.
Here are some details on the numerical modelling and laboratory experiments.
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