Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography

2010 Spring Seminar Series

"LES of turbulent shear flow and pressure-driven flow on shallow continental shelves"

Guillaume Martinat
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography

Monday, March 22, 2010
3:30 PM
Room 3200, Innovation Research Park Building I


Turbulent shear flows on shallow continental shelves (here shallow means that the interaction with the solid, no-slip bottom is important) are of great importance because tides and wind-driven flows on the shelf are drivers of the transfer of momentum, heat, and mass (gas) across the air-sea interface. In addition, these turbulent flows play an important transport role because vertical mixing and currents are vectors for the transport of sediment and bioactive material on continental shelves (Gargett et al., Science, 2004). Understanding the dynamics of this class of flows presents complications because of the presence of a free surface and also because the flow can be driven by a pressure gradient (a tidal current), a stress at the free surface (a wind-driven current) or a combination of both.

Our research uses Large Eddy Simulation (LES) to quantify the effects of the pressure gradient and wind shear on the distinctive structures of the turbulent flow. From these LES computations, we obtain an understanding of the physics governing pressure-driven and wind-driven flows and how they can interact in a normal or a tangential direction.


Dr. Martinat received a License in Physics from the Université Rennes 1, France, a Master es Science degree in fluid dynamics from the Université de Toulous, France, and a Doctorat es Science in fluid dynamics from Université de Toulouse, France. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at Old Dominion University. His research interest is focused on large-eddy simulation of free-surface turbulent flows in shallow water, especially Langmuir circulation in a wind and wave-driven flow.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

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