Fringer Oliver B.

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Oliver B.

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  • Article
    The future of coastal and estuarine modeling: findings from a workshop
    (Elsevier, 2019-09-16) Fringer, Oliver B. ; Dawson, Clint N. ; He, Ruoying ; Ralston, David K. ; Zhang, Y. Joseph
    This paper summarizes the findings of a workshop convened in the United States in 2018 to discuss methods in coastal and estuarine modeling and to propose key areas of research and development needed to improve their accuracy and reliability. The focus of this paper is on physical processes, and we provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art based on presentations and discussions at the meeting, which revolved around the four primary themes of parameterizations, numerical methods, in-situ and remote-sensing measurements, and high-performance computing. A primary outcome of the workshop was agreement on the need to reduce subjectivity and improve reproducibility in modeling of physical processes in the coastal ocean. Reduction of subjectivity can be accomplished through development of standards for benchmarks, grid generation, and validation, and reproducibility can be improved through development of standards for input/output, coupling and model nesting, and reporting. Subjectivity can also be reduced through more engagement with the applied mathematics and computer science communities to develop methods for robust parameter estimation and uncertainty quantification. Such engagement could be encouraged through more collaboration between the forward and inverse modeling communities and integration of more applied math and computer science into oceanography curricula. Another outcome of the workshop was agreement on the need to develop high-resolution models that scale on advanced HPC systems to resolve, rather than parameterize, processes with horizontal scales that range between the depth and the internal Rossby deformation scale. Unsurprisingly, more research is needed on parameterizations of processes at scales smaller than the depth, including parameterizations for drag (including bottom roughness, bedforms, vegetation and corals), wave breaking, and air–sea interactions under strong wind conditions. Other topics that require significantly more work to better parameterize include nearshore wave modeling, sediment transport modeling, and morphodynamics. Finally, it was agreed that coastal models should be considered as key infrastructure needed to support research, just like laboratory facilities, field instrumentation, and research vessels. This will require a shift in the way proposals related to coastal ocean modeling are reviewed and funded.
  • Preprint
    The formation and fate of internal waves in the South China Sea
    ( 2015-03) Alford, Matthew H. ; Peacock, Thomas ; MacKinnon, Jennifer A. ; Nash, Jonathan D. ; Buijsman, Maarten C. ; Centurioni, Luca R. ; Chao, Shenn-Yu ; Chang, Ming-Huei ; Farmer, David M. ; Fringer, Oliver B. ; Fu, Ke-Hsien ; Gallacher, Patrick C. ; Graber, Hans C. ; Helfrich, Karl R. ; Jachec, Steven M. ; Jackson, Christopher R. ; Klymak, Jody M. ; Ko, Dong S. ; Jan, Sen ; Johnston, T. M. Shaun ; Legg, Sonya ; Lee, I-Huan ; Lien, Ren-Chieh ; Mercier, Matthieu J. ; Moum, James N. ; Musgrave, Ruth C. ; Park, Jae-Hun ; Pickering, Andrew I. ; Pinkel, Robert ; Rainville, Luc ; Ramp, Steven R. ; Rudnick, Daniel L. ; Sarkar, Sutanu ; Scotti, Alberto ; Simmons, Harper L. ; St Laurent, Louis C. ; Venayagamoorthy, Subhas K. ; Wang, Yu-Huai ; Wang, Joe ; Yang, Yiing-Jang ; Paluszkiewicz, Theresa ; Tang, Tswen Yung
    Internal gravity waves, the subsurface analogue of the familiar surface gravity waves that break on beaches, are ubiquitous in the ocean. Because of their strong vertical and horizontal currents, and the turbulent mixing caused by their breaking, they impact a panoply of ocean processes, such as the supply of nutrients for photosynthesis1, sediment and pollutant transport2 and acoustic transmission3; they also pose hazards for manmade structures in the ocean4. Generated primarily by the wind and the tides, internal waves can travel thousands of kilometres from their sources before breaking5, posing severe challenges for their observation and their inclusion in numerical climate models, which are sensitive to their effects6-7. Over a decade of studies8-11 have targeted the South China Sea, where the oceans’ most powerful internal waves are generated in the Luzon Strait and steepen dramatically as they propagate west. Confusion has persisted regarding their generation mechanism, variability and energy budget, however, due to the lack of in-situ data from the Luzon Strait, where extreme flow conditions make measurements challenging. Here we employ new observations and numerical models to (i) show that the waves begin as sinusoidal disturbances rather than from sharp hydraulic phenomena, (ii) reveal the existence of >200-m-high breaking internal waves in the generation region that give rise to turbulence levels >10,000 times that in the open ocean, (iii) determine that the Kuroshio western boundary current significantly refracts the internal wave field emanating from the Luzon Strait, and (iv) demonstrate a factor-of-two agreement between modelled and observed energy fluxes that enables the first observationally-supported energy budget of the region. Together, these findings give a cradle-to-grave picture of internal waves on a basin scale, which will support further improvements of their representation in numerical climate predictions.
  • Article
    Fate of internal waves on a shallow shelf
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-04-21) Davis, Kristen A. ; Arthur, Robert S. ; Reid, Emma C. ; Rogers, Justin S. ; Fringer, Oliver B. ; DeCarlo, Thomas M. ; Cohen, Anne L.
    Internal waves strongly influence the physical and chemical environment of coastal ecosystems worldwide. We report novel observations from a distributed temperature sensing (DTS) system that tracked the transformation of internal waves from the shelf break to the surf zone over a narrow shelf slope region in the South China Sea. The spatially continuous view of temperature fields provides a perspective of physical processes commonly available only in laboratory settings or numerical models, including internal wave reflection off a natural slope, shoreward transport of dense fluid within trapped cores, and observations of internal rundown (near‐bed, offshore‐directed jets of water preceding a breaking internal wave). Analysis shows that the fate of internal waves on this shelf—whether transmitted into shallow waters or reflected back offshore—is mediated by local water column density structure and background currents set by the previous shoaling internal waves, highlighting the importance of wave‐wave interactions in nearshore internal wave dynamics.
  • Article
    Dynamics and energetics of trapped diurnal internal Kelvin waves around a midlatitude lsland
    (American Meteorological Society, 2017-10-12) Masunaga, Eiji ; Fringer, Oliver B. ; Kitade, Yujiro ; Yamazaki, Hidekatsu ; Gallager, Scott M.
    The generation of trapped and radiating internal tides around Izu‐Oshima Island located off Sagami Bay, Japan, is investigated using the three-dimensional Stanford Unstructured Nonhydrostatic Terrain-following Adaptive Navier–Stokes Simulator (SUNTANS) that is validated with observations of isotherm displacements in shallow water. The model is forced by barotropic tides, which generate strong baroclinic internal tides in the study region. Model results showed that when diurnal K1 barotropic tides dominate, resonance of a trapped internal Kelvin wave leads to large-amplitude internal tides in shallow waters on the coast. This resonance produces diurnal motions that are much stronger than the semidiurnal motions. The weaker, freely propagating, semidiurnal internal tides are generated on the western side of the island, where the M2 internal tide beam angle matches the topographic slope. The internal wave energy flux due to the diurnal internal tides is much higher than that of the semidiurnal tides in the study region. Although the diurnal internal tide energy is trapped, this study shows that steepening of the Kelvin waves produces high-frequency internal tides that radiate from the island, thus acting as a mechanism to extract energy from the diurnal motions.