College of Engineering

ECE Seminar Speaker: Dr. Wendell S. Brown, SMAST

Date(s): 4/12/2013 2:00 PM - 4/12/20133:30 PM
Location: Lester W. Cory Conference Room, SENG - Room 213A
Contact: Honggang Wang 508-999-8469

Topic: The Evolution of the Mid-Atlantic Cold Pool

“ seen through the eyes of an ocean glider”

With contributions from O. Schofield, S. Glenn, J. Kohut, W. Boicourt, & A. Gangopadhyay

During summer, distinctive, bottom-trapped, cold water mass called Cold Pool Water (CPW) resides as a swath over the mid to outer continental shelf throughout much of the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB). This evolving CPW is important because it strongly influences the ecosystem, including several important fisheries. Thus there is a priority to better understand the relevant ocean processes and develop CPW forecast capability. Toward that end over the past decade, we have made repeated high resolution ocean glider measurements of temperature and salinity (T/S) profiles along a coastal New Jersey cross-shelf transect. This effort has helped to define the variability of the CPW structure off of New Jersey. More recently, with support from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS), we have been “flying” ocean gliders along zig-zag trajectories from Massachusetts to New Jersey and New Jersey to Maryland. We are just beginning to assimilate the slowly-acquired (½ knot) ocean glider T/S measurements into numerical coastal ocean models for the purpose of generating prototype CPW forecast maps. Here we report on what these glider measurements are revealing about MAB coastal ocean and CPW in general; highlighting our 2012 measurements of a dramatically warmer (1oC to 2oC) coastal ocean than in previous years.

Dr. Brown received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from Brown University in 1965 and 1967 respectively; and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the MIT in 1971. Dr. Brown presently holds a faculty position in the Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences, School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in ocean hazards, physical oceanography, ocean dynamics, and ocean data analysis. Dr. Brown carries out research on the role of tidal and meteorological forcing on coastal ocean circulation and the implementation of coastal ocean observing systems. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS).

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