Emerita Professor
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529
email: gargettann@gmail.com

B.Sc. Honours ,University of Manitoba, 1966
Ph.D. University of British Columbia, 1970
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1991.

Full CV

Full publication List

last updated: August 2015

Research Interests

1. Observations of turbulence

In the area of ocean mixing processes, my work focuses on new observational techniques, suited particularly to the coastal ocean where significant mixing is usually spatially sparse and temporally intermittent. I have developed a new Doppler-based system which provides continuous two-dimensional mapping of the large eddy structure of turbulence. The first use of this system at the LEO15 cabled observatory off New Jersey revealed the existence of Langmuir supercells, Langmuir circulations that engulf the entire water column under prolonged wind/wave forcing. This previously unknown process has subsequently been identified as well in deeper  mid-shelf waters on the shelf off Georgia. In both locations, Langmuir supercells dominate annual sediment transport. I am now interested in seeing these new techniques further developed and deployed in a wider variety of situations.

Data Archive       Turbulence at Ocean Observatories

Latest results from this work


Gargett, A. E. and C.E. Grosch. 2014. Turbulence process domination under the combined forcings of wind stress, the Langmuir vortex force, and surface cooling. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 44, 44-67.


Gargett, A. E., D. K. Savidge and J. R. Wells. 2014. Anatomy of a Langmuir supercell event. J. Mar. Res. 72, 127-163.

Gargett, A.E., A.E. Tejada-Martinez and C.E. Grosch. 2009. Measuring turbulent large eddy structures with an ADCP. 2. Horizontal velocity variance. J. Mar. Res. 67, 569-595.

Gargett, A.E., A.E. Tejada-Martinez and C.E. Grosch. 2008. Measuring turbulent large eddy structures with an ADCP. 1. Vertical velocity variance. J. Mar. Res., 66(2), 157-189. 

Gargett, A. E. and J. R. Wells. 2007. Langmuir turbulence in shallow water: Part I. Observations.  J. Fluid Mechanics, 576, 27-61.

Gargett, A., J. Wells, A. E. Tejada-Martinez and C. E. Grosch. 2004. Langmuir supercells: a mechanism for sediment resuspension and transport in shallow seas. Science 306, 1925-1928.  Online Access


2. Turbulence and biology (at all scales)

My work in small-scale turbulence has led to collaborations in the area of biophysical interactions at the small scales of planktonic organisms, including comprehensive reviews of the relevant literature, development of simple but powerful models of multi-year biophysical interactions in strongly estuarine systems, and suggestion of mechanistic pathways by which effects of atmospheric variability may propagate, through influence on physical processes, up to the level of marine fish stocks.

Selected publications in this area

Gargett, A. E., and J. Marra. 2002. Effects of upper ocean physical processes - turbulence, advection, and air-sea interaction - on oceanic primary production. The Sea, Vol.12, ed. A. R. Robinson, J. J. McCarthy, and B. J. Rothschild, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 19-49.

Gargett, A. E., M. Li and R. M. Brown. 2001: Testing mechanistic explanations of observed correlations between environmental factors and marine fisheries. Can. J. Fish. Aq. Sci. 58(1), 208-219.

Gargett, A. E. 1999: Velcro measurement of turbulence kinetic energy dissipation rate . J. Atmosph. Oceanic Tech. 16(12), 1973-1993.

Gargett, A. E. 1997: The optimal stability "window": a mechanism underlying decadal fluctuations in North Pacific salmon stocks? Fish. Oceanogr. 6 (2), 109-117. 


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