Special Seminar: Numerical and Laboratory Experiments of Oceanic Overflows in an Idealized Domain
- Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 4:00pm
- Roberts Hall - view map
Numerical and Laboratory Experiments of Oceanic Overflows in an Idealized Domain
Abstract: Oceanic overflows occur when dense water flows down a continental slope into less dense ambient water. The resulting density driven plumes occur naturally in various regions of the global ocean and affect the large-scale circulation. General circulation models currently rely on parameterizations for representing dense overflows due to resolution restrictions. These parameterizations rely on a detailed understanding of the mixing properties, which is enhanced by studying idealized, small-scale models of overflows. The work presented here is from two different projects. The first uses the Model for Prediction Across Scales Ocean (MPAS-Ocean), which is Los Alamos National Lab’s ocean component of a new climate model framework that supports unstructured, variable resolution grids. This new ocean model is scheduled to replace the 50-year old existing ocean model in the global climate runs for the next IPCC report. This work studied the sensitivity of MPAS-Ocean to various numerical parameters using the idealized overflow test case. The intricate relationship between these parameters was determined and a final recommendation was provided for users of the model. The second project set out to directly and quantitatively compare idealized overflow in the lab with numerical simulations run using the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) in the non-hydrostatic configuration. Laboratory experiments are conducted using a rotating square tank customized for idealized overflow and a high-resolution camera mounted on the table in the rotating reference frame for data collection. Laboratory and computational experiments are compared across a wide range of physical parameters, including Coriolis parameter, inflow density anomaly, and dense inflow volumetric flow rate.
Bio: Shanon Reckinger is an Assistant Professor and Clare Boothe Luce Professor at Fairfield University in Fairfield, CT. Her research interests are in fluid dynamics, numerical methods, computational fluid dynamics, and ocean modeling. Much of her research has involved studying fluid systems on non-uniform and/or adaptive meshes. In addition to ocean modeling, Shanon has worked with undergraduates on a variety of fluids related projects including studying the suction feeding efficiency of the Amia fish using PIV and testing the limits of additive manufacturing on microfluidic heat exchanger channels. She teaches the courses in the areas of the thermal sciences, mathematics, and numerical methods at the undergraduate and graduate level. Additionally, she has developed curriculum for first year students including a project-based ‘introduction to engineering’ course and a flipped classroom on programming in MATLAB. Lastly, she has been exploring the effectiveness of peer lead learning in and out of the classroom.