Niels Bohr Lecture by professor Carsten Eden

A sea of waves, turbulence and mean flow

Professor Carsten Eden, Professor for Theoretical Oceanography at Universität Hamburg. 

Abstract: Below its wavy surface,  the ocean hosts a sea of wave motions usually invisible to the observer at the surface:  high-frequency sound waves caused by the compressibility of seawater,  low-frequency planetary waves caused by gradients in the background rotation of the flow, and internal gravity waves with intermediate frequencies caused by buoyant restoring forces and influenced by Earth's rotation.

In particular the latter two principal kinds of ocean waves are characterized by energy continuously populating a wide range of frequencies and wavenumbers. Such ocean wave energy spectra also tend to satisfy certain spectral laws which points  towards the importance of spectral energy transfers by non-linear interactions between the waves, acting akin to the energy transfers seen in small-scale turbulence. The dynamics and importance of such wave turbulence for the large-scale mean circulation and the energy cycle of the ocean and the climate system, and possible ways for parameterisations of the wave effects to be used in  coarse-resolution climate models will be discussed.

  • AUD. 3 at HCØ, October 24, 2018 at 15:15

As usual, coffee, tea and cookies will be served in front of the auditorium at 14:55.

About Carsten Eden

Carsten Eden was educated as physical oceanographer at Universität Kiel, Germany and is now Professor for Theoretical Oceanography at Universität Hamburg.
He works and publishes on understanding the large-scale circulation of the ocean, mesoscale eddy processes, and the role and effects of internal gravity waves. A particular focus is on the improvement of  parameterization of such unresolved processes for climate models, and the practical implementation in numerical ocean models. He also co-authored the book "Ocean Dynamics" (Springer, 2011) giving a concise introduction in theoretical oceanography.