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Physical Oceanography

physical oceanography

Physical oceanography uses the laws of physics to study the structure and dynamics of ocean circulation and water properties, water mass formation, waves, tides, turbulence, and other physical phenomena. We study diverse systems such as hydrothermal vent plumes, estuaries, and the Gulf Stream and use a combination of traditional and novel observational techniques together with mathematical and computer modeling. A better understanding of the physics of the oceans is important for many interdisciplinary problems such as investigating the factors affecting the global carbon cycle, the ocean’s ecosystems, the dynamics of fish populations, and larval transport.



My research involves the use of mathematical and computer modeling to understand how different marine systems function and how they might change under changing environmental and climate conditions. For me, a marine system can mean many things; a the biological and chemical transformations of a single particle of detrital material…

Coastal ocean dynamics and its impact on the marine ecosystem; wind-driven mesoscale flows; flow-topography interactions; buoyancy-driven flows;  high latitude oceanography; fate of Greenland meltwater in the ocean.

Physical and acoustical oceanography

My research applies the fundamental laws of physics to the ocean environment in order to understand: ocean mixing, transport and buoyancy driven flows, and circulation processes from the coastal ocean to the deep-sea environment of hydrothermal vents and hydrocarbon seeps. Specialized acoustic…

Dr. Edwards’s research focuses on the physical oceanography of the continental margins, where shelf-scale processes can have complicated interactions with topography and stratification at the nearshore boundary as well as the shelfbreak. Her current work takes a joint observational/modeling approach to describing the response of the coastal…

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