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Fluid Mechanics Seminar
Dynamics of Internal Gravity Waves in Oceans and Atmospheres
Dr. Harry L. Swinney
Professor Emeritus
Department of Physics, The University of Texas at Austin
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 3:30 pm
WRW 113

Internal gravity waves form in stratified fluids such as the atmosphere and oceans.  We examine the internal waves generated in the oceans by tidal flow over bottom topography. These waves can travel thousands of kilometers, and they play a major role in ocean mixing and ocean circulation. However, it is difficult to make accurate estimates of the conversion of tidal energy into internal wave energy because of the complexity of ocean topography and the constructive and destructive interference of the internal waves. This talk will present results from laboratory experiments, numerical simulations, and ocean and satellite observations that yield insight into internal wave dynamics and improve estimates of the total energy in internal waves in the oceans. 


Short bio

Prof. Swinney has been on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin since 1978. Until recently, he was the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair of Physics and director of the Center for Nonlinear Dynamics.

He is known worldwide for his contributions to the field of nonlinear dynamics. He conducts research on instabilities, chaos, and pattern formation in diverse systems, including fluid, chemical, and granular media. Throughout his long and prolific career, Prof. Swinney has won numerous awards, including the Boltzmann Medal (2013), the Lewis Fry Richardson Medal (2012), the Jürgen Moser Award (2007), and the American Physical Society Fluid Dynamics Prize (1995).

Contact  Dr. Fabrizio Bisetti (512) 471-5696 or


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