Project Title

3D Ocean Circulation and its Magnetic Signature on the Southeast Florida Shelf

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Alexander Soloviev

Colleges / Centers

Halmos College of Arts and Sciences


Office of Naval Research

Start Date



A strong western boundary current interacting with a steep and narrow continental shelf results in a very energetic ocean environment on the Southeast Florida Shelf, involving a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. The proposed project is focused on submesoscale oceanographic and related electromagnetic processes on the Southeast Florida Shelf in support of the Naval Surface Warfare Center - Carderock Division (NSWC-CD) Electromagnetic (EM) Observatory of the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF). These processes include: • the recently discovered seasonally-modulated southward jet attached to the Southeast Florida continental slope, • internal wave soliton interaction with the continental slope, • seasonally-modulated supertidal baroclinic oscillations, • rapid hurricane intensification and decline, • upwelling on the Southeast Florida shelf during hurricanes, • wind-generated coherent structures in the upper ocean turbulent boundary layer, and • submesoscale dynamics of freshwater lenses. The proposed field and numerical research will provide a better understanding of the physical oceanographic conditions on the Southeast Florida Shelf in relation to the NSWC-CD SFOMF and EM Observatory activities. The field program will include long-term observations with the existing SFOMF and NSU mooring system and intense observational periods using a glider. The Slocum G3 Glider will help to monitor the 3D structure of the temperature-salinity and current velocity fields on the Southeast Florida Shelf that are forced by a strong western boundary current. The numerical research will include the implementation of a computational fluid dynamics model, which will help to elucidate magnetic signature of submesoscale, non-hydrostatic phenomena. Results of numerical and field experiments will be interpreted in terms of the fundamentals of the magnetohydrodynamic theory. The project results will be applicable to other western boundary current systems (e.g., Kuroshio Current, Agulhas Current).

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