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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi


Event Information:

  • Tue

    Colloquium: Giant Underwater Waves Mixing the Ocean's Waters

    4:00 pmZoom Meeting See Below.

    Maarten Buijsman
    School of Ocean Science and Engineering
    University of Southern Mississippi

    Giant Underwater Waves Mixing the Ocean's Waters

    The ocean’s interior is filled with giant waves that can only exist because the ocean is vertically stratified in temperature and salinity. Some of these waves are more than 300 feet tall and 100 miles long. Like waves at the ocean surface, internal waves are restored by gravity. These internal gravity waves are generated by wind, tides, and the slow ocean circulation. As internal waves propagate through the ocean, they interact with topography, the ocean circulation, and other internal waves, facilitating an energy cascade to smaller scales, and eventually turbulence. Like breaking waves on the beach, the turbulence of breaking internal waves mixes the water below the ocean’s surface. This is relevant for the dispersion of sediments and nutrients, the general ocean circulation, and ultimately the earth’s climate.

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    Meeting ID: 213 798 950