Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Spring 2021 Virtual Seminar Series


Natalie Robinson
National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand

Monday, February 22, 2021
3:30 PM

Zoom link


The Victoria Land Coastal Current is a supercooled plume of Ice Shelf Water from the Ross Ice Shelf, which has provided a natural laboratory for understanding ice-ocean interactions and connections between ice shelf and sea ice regimes. This talk will cover results from observational field campaigns both on the sea ice of McMurdo Sound and from several sites beneath the Ross Ice Shelf conducted over the past decade. Some of the features highlighted will include amplified boundary roughness generated by thick accumulations of platelet ice crystals; dynamic quenching of supercooling in a multi-phase flow; and unexpected ocean structure and variability deep within the Ross Ice Shelf ocean cavity. Oceanic connectivity between the Ross Sea shelf, the sub-ice shelf cavity and the grounding zone provides necessary context for the smaller-scale process studies. This is also creating opportunities for new interdisciplinary research with implications for ice dynamics and ice sheet evolution.


Dr. Natalie Robinson is an observational marine physicist, specializing in Antarctic oceanography and ice-ocean interactions, with New Zealand's National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Her work ranges in scale from regional-wide circulation patterns and inter-annual variability to small-scale processes at ice-ocean interfaces. She has led multiple on-ice observational campaigns through the New Zealand Antarctic Programme and currently leads NIWA's research into Antarctic and High Latitude Climate. Her work has contributed to understanding the oceanic connections between sea ice and ice shelf regimes, and she is co-PI on the New Zealand Antarctic Science Platform's project on Sea Ice and Carbon Cycle Feedbacks. She is passionate about making science accessible to everyone and frequently participates in outreach and engagement activities across a variety of platforms.

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