Temperature and salinity fronts are important features in the open ocean and coastal and estuarine environments. These fronts can inhibit mixing of pollutants and other tracers, while also supporting enhanced vertical exchange between surface and interior waters. Fronts are also extremely energetic and dynamic environments, exhibiting a rich collection of fluid dynamical processes on scales ranging from kilometers to meters. I will discuss recent work using large-eddy simulations which indicate that fronts can significantly modify the intensity and spatial structure of three-dimensional turbulence. I will then discuss the impact that fronts and turbulence can have on biology and the distribution and transport of buoyant tracers near the ocean surface.
Bio: John Taylor is a University Lecturer (assistant professor) in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. He received a PhD in 2008 from UCSD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and was awarded the Andreas Acrivos Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Fluid Dynamics from the American Physical Society. Starting in 2008, he was a Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences at MIT before moving to Cambridge in 2011. His research covers various topics in fluid dynamics and oceanography.