Turbulent cascades and intermittency in winds over the Tropical Pacific


Speaker: Dr. Greg King

Affiliation: Institute of Marine Sciences (CISC) Barcelona, Spain

Seminar Title: Turbulent cascades and intermittency in winds over the Tropical Pacific

Seminar Abstract: Under typical conditions, turbulent fluid motions are three-dimensional and energy cascades from large scales to small scales. However, in the atmosphere over the range of scales governing weather henomena (the mesoscales: 2-2000 km), geophysical constraints (stratification, rotation, thin atmosphere) decouple motions into layers.  This quasi-two-dimensional flow motivates a picture of stratified turbulence with an upscale cascade (from small scales to large scales). To test this picture of turbulence requires an observational dataset of global winds -- an enormous undertaking.  Attempts to provide a definitive answer on the cascade direction eluded investigators until Erik Lindborg (1999) proposed a test based on Kolmogorov's third-order structure function law (the most rigorous result in turbulence theory). This test, when applied to a dataset of global upper troposphere winds, indicated, to great surprise, that the cascade was downscale.

In this talk I will describe the application of the third-order structure function test to the mesoscale winds over the Tropical Pacific Ocean. The winds we studied were measured from space by instruments (called scatterometers) carried on the NASA QuikSCAT satellite and the European MetOp-A satellite.  Our analysis supplied further surprises: evidence for both upscale and downscale cascades, depending on geographical region and season. Our results show that turbulence models need to include information about air-sea interaction.

When: March 24, 2016 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Boris Galperin

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Last modified on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 16:49

Marine Science Happy Hour Networking Event Feb 22 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Our next Tampa Bay Area Marine Science Networking Happy Hour will be Tuesday, March 22nd 2016 at 4:30-6:30pm. This month's event will be held at 3 Daughters Brewery, 222 22nd St S, St Petersburg, FL 33712.  Erica Moulton of St Pete Makers has offered to host a free tour of their new facility which is within a short walk of the brewery, for those that are interested in seeing what they have to offer during happy hour.

The happy hour event is self pay, they have ample onsite parking and name tags will be provided.  We will be inside the front bar area, but they also have a game room in the rear by the brewing area. Please join us and bring your ocean science professional friends and colleagues.

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Last modified on Monday, 21 March 2016 17:57

Site of 1503 shipwreck - the Esmerelda - tied to Vasco da Gama found off Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Today, Blue Water Recoveries company announced, in partnership with Oman’s Ministry of Heritage & Culture, the discovery of the earliest European ship of discovery that was part of Vasco da Gama’s 1502-1503 fleet to India.  David L. Mearns, is the Director at Blue Water Recoveries, an alumnus of USF, and holds a master's degree from the College of Marine Science. David is one of the world's most renowned shipwreck hunters. 

News about this discovery has been officially released.  The links below will direct you to a Project Website.


Also, an academic paper was published today in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.  This paper is free to download at the following site.


Read more about Blue Water Recoveries

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2016 16:38

Variations of the Global Net Air-Sea Heat Flux During the “Hiatus” Period (2001–2010)

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Air-sea heat exchange directly links the ocean and the atmosphere and is an important factor for controlling the atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Knowing how the net air-sea heat flux varies on different spatial and temporal scales is critically important for detecting and understanding the consequences of climate change and climate variability on the ocean heat budget and the ocean circulations. In this study (Liang and Yu, 2016), an assessment is made of the mean and variability of the net air-sea heat flux from four products (ECCO, OAFlux/CERES, ERA-Interim and NCEP1 over the global ice-free oceans from January 2001 to December 2010. For the 10-year “hiatus” period, all products agree on an overall net heat gain over the global ice-free ocean, but the magnitude varies significantly.

The differences among products are particularly large in the Southern Ocean. Decadal trends of Qnet differ significantly between products. ECCO and OAFlux/CERES show almost no trend, whereas ERA-Interim suggests a downward trend and NCEP1 shows an upward trend. The downward trend in ERA-Interim started from 2006, driven by a peculiar pattern change in the tropical regions. ECCO, which used ERA-Interim as initial surface forcings and is constrained by ocean dynamics and ocean observations, corrected the pattern. Among the four products, ECCO and OAFlux/CERES show great similarities in the examined spatial and temporal patterns. Given that the two estimates were obtained using different approaches and based on largely independent observations, these similarities are encouraging and instructive. It is therefore more likely that the global net air-sea heat flux does not change much during the “hiatus” period.

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Last modified on Friday, 11 March 2016 13:56

The 2016 Eminent Scholar Lecture Series

ST. PETERSBURG, Fl - The Eminent Scholar Lecture Series (ESLS) is a two day lecture series held annually during the Spring semester. The ESLS is presented by the USF College of Marine Science, and the
US Geological Survey , and sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times. The ESLS brings in four speakers from institutions across the United States and abroad to address a given marine science topic. All lectures are open to the public.

Spring 2016 ESLS: Extreme Events in the Ocean System

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Watch Live 4/7/16 & 4/8/16 at 1:30pm est.

Extreme Events in the Ocean System


Extreme Events in the Ocean System 

Dates: April (7-8) 2016, Thursday and Friday

Time: 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium, FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, USFSP, 100 Eighth Ave. S.E., St. Petersburg, FL

Contact: Howard Rutherford at 727-553-3376


The St. Petersburg SciCafé is at the Dali Museum

“Featuring Francisco Chavez”
When: Thursday, April 7, 2016
Time: Reception at 6:00PM &
The Panel Discussion is from 6:30PM-7:30PM
1 Dali Blvd, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Event Contact: H. Rutherford, 727-553-3376

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 11:59



Speaker: Dr. Noel James

Affiliation: Department of Geological Sciences & Geological Engineering, Queen’s University


When: March 21, 2016 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Gene Domack

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Last modified on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 17:07

Rising Tides v5 - Winter 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - It's been an exciting winter here at USF College of Marine Science. Here are some of the highlights in the Rising Tides Magazine, Winter 2016 edition. 


View online version Rising Tides

Download .pdf file


Last modified on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 13:55

Jacqueline Dixon Joins DTM as the 20th Merle A. Tuve Senior Fellow

Washington, D.C. - Jacqueline Dixon, dean of the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, joins DTM as the 20th Merle A. Tuve Senior Fellow. Her Tuve Lecture will be held on 7 April, 2016, in the Greenewalt Auditorium.

DTM's Tuve Fellowship started in 1996 in honor of the late Merle A. Tuve, who served as DTM director from 1946-1966. Chosen at the discretion of the director of DTM, recipients are provided housing support and DTM resources to work on problems of mutual interest with current staff members at DTM.

Read the full article here

Device that detects faux fish is catching on

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The market is showing an interest in technology developed through the University of South Florida that can instantly determine whether a grouper is really a grouper. In the future, similar technology may signal whether wild-caught shrimp, tuna and red snapper live up to their claims, and even whether that glop floating offshore is really an example of the scourge known as red tide.

A USF professor and former graduate student obtained a patent last year on GrouperChek, a test that identifies the target gene in grouper to determine whether it’s actually grouper or a common substitute such as tilapia or catfish.

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Three long short-stories from the Atlantic


Speaker: Dr. Hjálmar Hátún

Affiliation: The Faroe Marine Research Institute

Seminar Title: Three long short-stories from the Atlantic

When: March 4, 2016 3:30pm EST

Where: MSL Conference Room (134)

Host: Dr. Anni Djurhuus / Dr. Mya Breitbart

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Last modified on Thursday, 03 March 2016 16:01