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Student Opportunities

Student Opportunities

The project list below is an indication of the opportunities available.
Please contact me to discuss how projects might be tailored to your interests. Research Projects at RSES
Causes of interleaving intrusions between ocean fronts
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Supervisor:Griffiths, Ross Hughes, Graham
Subject keywords: Ocean dynamics/fluid dynamics, Mathematical Geophysics, Physics, Geophysics, Laboratory, Experimental
Degree types: Honours, M.Sc
Where waters of different temperature (T) and salinity (S) lie close to each other in the oceans, there is frequently a region of relatively large lateral T and S gradients (a front). Mixing between the two masses of water is found to involve horizontal finger-like intrusions, often with many interleaved intrusions in a vertical stack. Thermohaline convection is a favoured driving mechanism for these intrusions, but the role of low-frequency internal inertia-gravity waves is unclear. The project will involve laboratory experiments designed to explore the possibility that waves may produce the intrusions and to examine the interactions of internal waves and thermohaline convection.

Energetics of turbulent mixing in real fluids
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Supervisor:Griffiths, Ross Hughes, Graham
Subject keywords: Sea level change/Climate change, Ocean dynamics/fluid dynamics, Mathematical Geophysics, Physics, Geophysics, Laboratory, Experimental
Degree types: Honours, PhD, PhB, Internships
Turbulent mixing in a density stratification is believed to play an essential role in governing the rate of deep overturning circulation in the oceans, and is a common process in many oceanographic and environmental setting. However, the rate of irreversible mixing achieved for a given rate of energy supply to turbulence is poorly understood, as much of the energy is dissipated. In recent work we have developed a better understanding of mixing in a simple fluid. However, real mixing also involves transfer of energy to and from internal chemical potential energy. Through buoyancy this influences the mechanical energy of the flow. There is an opportunity for a PhD student with a physics, mathematics or chemistry background to carry out novel experiments with turbulence in a stratified flow including significant nonlinear mixing effects and to examine the energetics in a more general case.

Dynamics of flow through ocean straits
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Supervisor:Hogg, Andrew Hughes, Graham
Subject keywords: Ocean dynamics/fluid dynamics,Climate Dynamics,Physics,Laboratory,Computational,
Degree types: Honours,PhD,
Ocean straits are narrow constrictions which separate marginal seas from oceans, such as the straits of Gibraltar, the Indonesian Throughflow and the Heads of Sydney Harbour. Straits therefore restrict the flow of water between different parts off the ocean. It follows that these straits play a key role in regulating flow of water, nutrients and pollutants around the ocean.

This project will exmine the fundamental fluid dynamics of flow through straits, and will apply these results to the ocean. The project may either be based on laboratory experiments, numerical simulation or a combination of the two. The student can expect to develop and implement a program of experiments to learn more about flow through straits, and to develop conceptual understanding of this important aspect of oceanography.

Contact the supervisor directly for more information.