
Research Program
The ocean is the regulator of Earth's climate. The
world's oceans store an enormous quantity of heat that is redistributed
throughout the world via the currents. Because the density of water is about a
thousand times larger than the density of air, the ocean has a substantial
inertia associated with it compared to the atmosphere. This implies that it
takes an enormous quantity of energy to change an existing ocean circulatory
pattern as compared to the atmospheric winds. For this reason, one can think of
the ocean as the "memory" and "integrator" of past and
evolving climate states. Because of the dominant role played by the ocean in
climate change, it is vital to understand the long time temporal variability
that can occur in ocean dynamics on a planetary scale.
Ocean currents can be characterized into two broad groups.
The first are the currents that are wind driven. These currents are most
intense near the surface of the ocean. Their principal role is to transport
warm equatorial waters toward the
My research group has worked toward understanding the
dynamics of these abyssal currents. In particular, we have focused on
developing mathematical and computational models to describe the evolution,
including the transition to instability and interaction with the surrounding
ocean, of these flows. The goal of this research is to better understand the
temporal variability of the planetary scale dynamics of the ocean climate
system. Our work can be seen as "theoretical" in the sense that we
attempt to develop new models to elucidate the most important dynamical
balances at play and "processoriented" in the sense that we attempt
to use these models to make concrete predictions about the evolution of these
flows. As such, our work is an interdisciplinary blend of physical
oceanography, classical applied mathematics and highperformance computational
science.
In the following sequence of four panels, I give an
overview of our work on the dynamics of grounded abyssal currents. There is a
hyperlink associated with each image that will take you to a jpeg image of a
poster on the topic.
Overview of the abyssal circulation 
Frictional destabilization of abyssal overflows 
Baroclinic instability of grounded abyssal currents 
Meridional flow of sourcedriven grounded abyssal currents 
In the following sequence of three panels, I give an
overview of our work on developing a mathematical stability theory for
a class of steadilytraveling dipole vortices called modons, the role of
dissipation and timevariability in the background flow in the wavepacket
dynamics of marginally unstable baroclinic frontalgeostrophic flow, and
a modal interpretation for the dissipationinduced
destabilization of inviscidlystable quasigeostrophic flow, respectively.
Again, there is a
hyperlink associated with each image that will take you to a jpeg image of a
poster on the topic.
Spectral properties in modon stability theory 
Dissipation and timevariability in baroclinically unstable frontalgeostrophic flow 
Dissipationinduced destabilization of inviscidlystable quasigeostrophic flow 
My Erdös number is 3 (Paul Erdös to George Szekeres to