Chemical and Biological Physics Guest SeminarThe term “ocean waves” typically evokes images of surface waves shaking ships during storms in the open ocean, or breaking rhythmically near the shore. Yet much of the ocean wave action takes place far underneath the surface, and consists of surfaces of constant
density being disturbed and modulated. These -internal waves- are ubiquitous in the ocean, contain a large amount of ocean energy, and play an important role in the ocean circulation since they transfer energy from large to small scales and thus provide a link between climatological forcing and small-scale dissipation.
Yet, despite internal wave ubiquity, energy, and decades of study we still do not understand how the energy cascades through the internal wave spectrum.
In this talk the traditional wave turbulence formulation of internal wave interaction will be discussed, and rebutted: internal waves are too nonlinear to be accurately described by the kinetic equation. So we are in the midst of something gloriously messy and nonlinear. We
will propose an alternative formulation based on the hypothesis of scale separated (nonlocal) interactions in momentum space.
This is joined work with Dr. Kurt Polzin from whoi.edu
Mathematical Sciences Department,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY