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Measuring the space and time evolution of the geometric, kinematic and dynamic properties of oceanic breaking waves

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, January 08, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The overarching goal of this project is to provide a better understanding and description of oceanic breaking waves for oceanographic, atmospheric science and engineering purposes.

Breaking waves at the ocean surface represent the most extreme flow occurring at the ocean-atmosphere interface: they generate high levels of upper ocean turbulence, entrain air into the water column which drives bubble-mediated air-sea exchange of gas and aerosol particles, disperse pollutants and nutrients, alter maximum wave height and crest height statistics and can generate large slamming forces on structures in the marine environment. Consequently breaking waves modulate the energy of the upper-ocean and surface wave field, drive ocean-atmosphere interfacial exchanges that influence weather and climate dynamics and impact engineering design.

Due to their intermittent occurrence at the ocean surface, associated high fluid velocities and high air fractions, detailed in-situ measurements of breaking waves in the ocean are extremely rare. Consequently, relatively little is known about the likelihood, scale and severity of individual oceanic breaking waves. Moreover, the complex hydrodynamics associated with breaking waves make accurate numerical simulations highly challenging and computationally expensive.

To address these challenges, this project seeks to develop a digital image-based remote sensing approach to describe the characteristics of oceanic breaking waves by measuring the space-time evolving whitecap foam signal generated by individual breaking waves.

This project will be part of the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Programme-

For further details on the project please see here:

Funding Notes

Applicants should be aware that as these studentships are funded through NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), to be eligible for a full award they must have either:

•British Citizenship or;

•Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay,

•Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship - (For non-EU citizens, this must NOT have been in full time education.) This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences). This does not apply to UK nationals.

How good is research at Imperial College London in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 56.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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