Modelling of Meddy-topography interactions

Description of the host institution

The project will be carried out in the Geophysical and Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Dundee where extensive laboratory facilities are available for modelling studies of oceanic flows. The laboratory is equipped with 5 rotating turntables, an 8m long internal wave tank, two recirculating flow channels with prescribed density and velocity fields and two rotating tow-tanks. All facilities are computer-controlled with state-of-the-art data acquisition and data storage. Flow visualisation is accomplished by means of camera and video-based systems appropriate for the flow under consideration and data analysis is made possible by the DigImage packages acquired for automated determination of velocity and vorticity fields within any flow. An Argon-ion laser, with attached fibre optics and beam spreader is used not only for illuminating any plane of interest in the flow but also to utilise laser-induced fluorescence for the remote, non-intrusive determination of density fields within the fluid. Turbulence experiments are carried out using the laser-induced fluorescence technique and the automated particle tracking facility, with further instrumentation based upon an array of very rapid response microconductivity probes. Image processing of the video-based laser-induced fluorescence scans of given planes is accomplished using the DigImage software. Thus far, 4 video cameras and 3 Super VHS VCR machines are available to service the demands of the group. The group has easy access to data from the University Satellite Receiving Station and remote sensing studies also constitute an important research activity.

A number of large projects are currently funded from national and EU (MAST) sources with current active grants totalling of 1M ECU. These projects (with sponsors) include modelling studies of

  1. pycnocline elevation and diapycnal mixing in the lee of deep ocean island structures (NERC),
  2. internal waves in 2-layer stratified seas (HSE),
  3. diapycnal mixing associated with surface wave breaking (NERC),
  4. frontal instability and filament formation along the Iberian coast (MAST III MORENA),
  5. river plumes and frontal formation in the English Channel (MAST III FLUXMACHINE),
  6. topographic and stratification effects on shelf edge flows (NERC LOIS),
  7. spin up processes in 2-layer fluid systems in containers of complex shape (EPSRC), and
  8. intermittent buoyant discharges (EPSRC).
The laboratory receives additional support with relatively minor funding from NATO Scientific Affairs Division and The British Council to facilitate Visiting Student and Visiting Scientist arrangements. In addition, the laboratory receives a number of students from other EU countries who spend short periods (typically 4-6 months) to carry out training projects associated with their home-based degrees. Strong established formal links are between the laboratory and (i) Coriolis Laboratory, Institut de Mécanique de Grenoble (FR), (ii) the Department of Mechanics, University of Oslo (NO), (iii) the Technical University of Eindhoven (NL), and (iv) the Department of Oceanography, University of Stockholm (SW). The laboratory has participated in the MAST I and MAST II programmes (FLUXMACHINE I, FLUXMACHINE II, MORENA and PELAGOS) and is included in a number of MAST III applications already submitted. The laboratory currently participates in joint experiments at the Coriolis Laboratory in Grenoble as part of the EU Grands Installations Programme. Strong collaborative research links exist with other UK Universities and joint research grants are currently held with groups at the University of Edinburgh, Manchester, Bradford and Loughborough. The candidate will have access to all the above facilities and will join a group of 6-7 postgraduate Research Assistants and PhD students, together with 3-4 postdoctoral scientists and visiting scientists. The group is lead by Professor P.A. Davies and is supported by its own laboratory Technician.

NERC = UK Natural Environmental Research Council
EPSRC = UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council
HSE = UK Health & Safety Executive.

Text by Peter Davies.

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last modified: 27 February 2000