air-sea interaction

Exchange of material and energy at the air-sea interface is a key issue in understanding climate.

Stevens C Ward B Law C Walkington M 2009 Surface Layer Mixing During the SAGE Ocean Fertilization Experiment, in press Special Issue in DSR II, November 2011.

under-ice boundary layers



The Southern Ocean, and its sea ice-covered southern extremities, are of vital importance to our understanding of earth system processes.  It is a primary driver of four of the earth’s major domains and is well described by Natalie Robinson here.
  • Oceans – convective sinking drives global ocean circulation and hence climate on millennial timescales.
  • Atmosphere – sea ice and its concomitant high albedo directly influences climate models.
  • Cryosphere – sea ice growth and breakup is the largest annual geophysical process on the planet.
  • Biosphere – the Southern Ocean krill biomass is the earth’s largest single population and this feeds on phytoplankton harboured by sea ice.
One of the main aspects of interest is the role of platelets in ice formation (see Dempsey paper). We conduct ice-based observational oceanography out of Scott Base supported by Antarctica NZ.  Along with moorings and CTD work, I am trying to build up a dataset with shear  microstructure profilers in various locations in the southern McMurdo Sound region including Haskell Strait (which we named!). Natalie Robinson has put out a paper on the flow in the Strait.  


Stevens, CL; Robinson, NJ; Williams, MJM; Haskell, TG. 2009. Observations of Turbulence Beneath Sea Ice in Southern McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. 
Ocean Science, 5:435-445.