Applied Mathematics Seminar | Jiarong Wu, Ocean surface wave dynamics with high-fidelity numerical simulations

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

MC 6460


Jiarong Wu, New York University


Ocean surface wave dynamics with high-fidelity numerical simulations


Surface waves are ubiquitous in the ocean and they modulate the exchange of mass, momentum, energy, and heat across the air-sea interface. Understanding and predicting ocean waves is also important for various applications, such as offshore wind farms and remote sensing. Ocean waves grow due to wind forcing and dissipate mostly through wave breaking (white-capping). Operational spectral wave models rely on parameterizations of the wind input and dissipation terms, which still carry significant uncertainty despite their general success.

In this talk, I will present our study of the physical processes of wind-wave interaction and wave breaking using numerical simulations that directly solve the Navier-Stokes equation. Two different numerical methods were employed, focusing on different aspects of the problem: a two-phase Volume-Of-Fluid solver for wind-wave interaction and a free-surface multi-layer solver for broadband wave breaking. The simulated results compare well with observations and help constrain the wave growth rate and breaking distribution from first principles. This work also contributes to a better understanding of the intricate coupling between waves and the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers. Lastly, I will briefly discuss ongoing postdoctoral work on simplified wave models for global prediction and sea-state dependent parameterizations of air-sea fluxes, using a combination of physics-based and data-driven methods.