In the Di Iorio Physical and Acoustical Oceanography laboratory we specialize in research that focuses on the fundamental laws of physics in the ocean environment. We strive to understand circulation processes that range from the coastal ocean to the deep-sea environment. We seek to constantly improve and disseminate our understanding of ocean mixing, turbulence and entrainment, estuarine transport, buoyancy driven flows, hydrothermal vent and natural methane and oil seep flows, and their interaction with the surrounding ocean.
With regard to the interaction of hydrothermal vents, natural methane and oil seeps with the surrounding ocean, we use a Forward Scatter Acoustic Scintillation System (FASS) that allows us to make accurate vertical velocity measurements of deep sea vents that is not possible using other instruments. Our instrument measures coherent turbulent flow patters that when applied to vents allow us to quantify the contributions that the fluids make to the chemical and thermal budget of the global ocean. FASS requires precise placement around a vent region using remotely operated deep submersible vehicles deployed off large ocean going vessels. FASS has yielded valuable data on 4 successful deployments. Currently it has collected data over 2 separate tectonic plates, and soon it will be 3.
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