Physical Oceanography

Don P. Chambers

Don P. Chambers

Associate Professor
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1996
Office Phone: 727.553.3351
Email: donc@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Satellite Oceanography Laboratory Website
Dr. Don P. Chambers on Google Scholar
Southern Ocean Science Website

 


Research: Using satellite observations to understand climate change and ocean dynamics

Dr. Chambers specializes in using satellite observations such as radar altimetry and satellite gravimetry to better understand ocean dynamics. His primary research focus is quantifying and understanding sea level variability, especially trying to separate natural climate variability from anthropogenic climate change. He in interested in all the dynamical processes that cause sea level change, including ocean circulation, ocean heat storage, ocean mass redistribution, and influx of fresh water from the continents and ice sheets.

Dr. Chambers has been a member of several NASA satellite Science Teams, including TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1, and is currently a member of the NASA Ocean Surface Topography and GRACE Science Teams, and is one of four U.S. scientists to serve on the joint NASA/European Space Agency Gravity Constellation Science Team. He has been a member of U.S. CLIVAR and is currently a Lead Author on the latest climate assessment by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Dr. Chambers was selected as the Bowie Lecturer for the 2013 Fall AGU Meeting.

Boris Galperin

Boris Galperin

Associate Professor
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 1982
Office Phone: 727.553.1249
Email: bgalperin@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Zonal Jets and Eddies - Planetary Science and Satellite Oceanography at the Crossroads

 

 

Research: Atmospheric; Oceanic and Planetary Turbulence; Theory, Modeling, Experiments

Circulations in atmospheric, oceanic and planetary systems feature turbulence and different kinds of waves. The character of turbulence – wave interaction changes from scale to scale and, due to strong nonlinearity, processes on different scales affect each other in many different ways. On the largest scales, a flow may become strongly anisotropic and self-organize into a system of alternating bands as observed on all giant planets. Similar but much weaker bands exist in the world ocean. We have discovered a new flow regime underlying this phenomenon; today it is known as zonostrophic turbulence. The existence of this regime on Jupiter has been confirmed by the data collected by a spacecraft Cassini.

My group is continuing this research using theoretical, numerical and experimental techniques. In addition, we develop novel analytical tools to describe turbulence – wave interactions and develop models that can be used in codes describing oceanic and atmospheric circulations on different scales. One of such tools is the Quasi-Normal Scale Elimination (QNSE) model that has been implemented in the state-of-the-art numerical weather prediction system WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This research is also ongoing.

Chuanmin Hu

Chuanmin Hu

Professor
Optical Oceanography
Ph.D., University of Miami, Physics Dept., 1997
Office Phone: 727.553.3987
Email: huc@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Optical Oceanography Laboratory Website
Dr. Chuanmin Hu on Google Scholar

 

Research: Ocean Optics and Optical Remote Sensing

Nearly all marine life depends on light. Dr. Hu's research is focused on addressing coastal ocean problems using primarily optics. These problems include river-ocean interactions (transport and transform of particulate and dissolved matters), carbon cycling, algal blooms, coral reef environmental health and ecosystem connectivity, climate change and anthropogenic influence on coastal/estuarine water quality. As light exists both below and above the surface of the ocean, Dr. Hu and his group members at the Optical Oceanography Lab approach these problems through 1) characterizing the underwater light field using the state-of-the-art optical equipment; 2) developing satellite remote sensing algorithms and data products specifically targeted to these problems; and 3) integrating these products with other data to understand coastal ocean changes in bio-optical properties as well as their causes and consequences.

The current research at OOL emphasizes the use of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to better understand the 3-dimensional light field and algal bloom formation, and high-resolution satellite remote sensing from which customized data products are derived for estuaries, turbid coastal waters, and optically shallow waters (e.g., coral reefs, seagrass). The recent establishment of a virtual antenna system (VAS) and a virtual buoy system (VBS) greatly facilitates data and information sharing on coastal blooms and general water quality with a variety of user groups.

Dr. Xinfeng Liang

Xinfeng Liang

Assistant Professor, College of Marine Science
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2012
Office Phone: 727.553.3507
Email: liang@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Lab Website

 

 

 

Research: Role of Ocean in the Climate System, Influence of Mesoscale Eddies on Deep Ocean Processes, Ocean Mixing and the Associated Dynamical Processes, Ocean Current Measurement and Ocean State Estimates

As a physical oceanographer, Dr. Liang is interested in using a combination of observations, numerical models and theory to understand how the ocean works and how the ocean is affected by and responds to the changing climate. In particular, Dr. Liang is interested in how the heat, salt, carbon and other biogeochemical tracers are transported in the global ocean. Another of Dr. Liang’s current research interests is the dynamic processes that can supply energy to ocean mixing, and these processes mainly include internal tides, near-inertial oscillations and mesoscale eddies. Dr. Liang has extensive seagoing experience, primarily in acquiring and processing data from Lowered/Vessel-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). Furthermore, he is familiar with the system of ocean state estimation (e.g. ECCO), which is powerful and has huge potential in addressing fundamental oceanographic questions.

Mark E. Luther

Mark E. Luther

Associate Professor
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1982
Office Phone: 727.553.1528
Email: mluther@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Ocean Modeling and Prediction Laboratory Website

 


Research: Maritime Safety and Security; Real-Time Ocean Observation Systems; Numerical Models of Ocean Circulation; Coastal Water Quality

Dr. Luther is Director of the Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Lab in the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, where he co-directs the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System. Dr. Luther's research involves the combination of real-time ocean observations with numerical models of ocean currents and processes and their application to various problems ranging from maritime safety and security to water quality in estuaries to variability in large-scale ocean circulation and its relation to climate change. He has provided operation and maintenance support for the NOAA/NOS Tampa Bay Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (TB-PORTS) since 1995. He is a founding member and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Coastal Technologies, a NOAA-funded partnership of research institutions, resource managers, and private sector companies dedicated to fostering the development and adoption of effective and reliable sensors and platforms for coastal ocean monitoring. He presently serves on the Tampa Bay Harbor Safety and Security Committee Technical Subcommittee and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Agency on Bay Management. He is Chairman of the Board for the Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium and is chairman of the
International Seakeepers Society Science Advisory Council.

Gary Mitchum

Gary Mitchum

Associate Dean, Professor, College of Marine Science
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1984
Office Phone: 727.553.3941
Email: mitchum@usf.edu
CV: View PDF

 

 

Research: Climate Change; Ocean Eddies; Satellite Remote Sensing; and Sea Level Rise

Professor Mitchum has been a faculty member in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida since 1996. Prior to coming to the USF he was a faculty member in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii where he was also the Director of the University of Hawaii Sea Level Center. His interest in sea level rise began there in the mid-1980's, and he remains especially interested in the study of 20th century sea level rise. Professor Mitchum's research focuses on the use of satellite and in situ data to study sea level variations and climate change. In addition, he also works on a wide variety of problems in the general area of ocean physics, including ocean eddies, the El Nino phenomenon, internal tides and various types of ocean waves. He also has a long-standing interest in the application of ocean physics to improve our understanding of fisheries.

Dr. Mitchum currently serves as the Associate Dean for Research for the college.

Robert H. Weisberg

Robert H. Weisberg

Distinguished University Professor
Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1975
Office Phone: 727.553.1568
Email: weisberg@usf.edu
CV: View PDF
Ocean Circulation Group Website

 


Research: Ocean Circulation; Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction Studies in the Tropics; and West Florida Continental Shelf Circulation

Dr. Weisberg is an experimental physical oceanographer engaged in ocean circulation and ocean-atmosphere interaction studies in the tropics, on continental shelves, and in estuaries. His research presently emphasizes the West Florida Continental Shelf (WFS) circulation and the interactions occurring between the shelf and the deep-ocean and between the shelf and the estuaries. Through his Ocean Circulation Group he maintains a coordinated program of real-time, in-situ measurements, analyses, and numerical circulation models aimed at describing and understanding those processes that determine WFS water properties. Observations consist of surface moorings for real time surface meteorology, water column ocean currents, and temperature/salinity (T/S), some inclusive of waves; subsurface moorings for currents; HF-radar for surface currents; profilers for T/S (in collaboration with the CMS-COT); analyses of satellite data for SST, SSH, and geostrophic currents; and surface drifters. Models consist of WFS regional applications of ROMS nested in the 1/12th degree North Atlantic HYCOM (to study the WFS and deep-ocean interactions) and FVCOM (to study the WFS and estuary interactions) and sub-regional FVCOM applications to individual estuaries. Additional FVCOM applications, making use of the model's high resolution and flooding/drying capabilities, are for coastal inundation by hurricane storm surge.

Dr. Weisberg is on the Board of Directors for the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) and is a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Coastal and Environmental Research Program (CERP).