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  • Research

Institute of Ocean Remote Sensing (IORS)
Director: Prof. Yijun HE
The Institute of Ocean Remote Sensing (IORS) is now under construction according to the development plan of the School of Marine Sciences. The IORS covers about 400 M2. It possesses a number of modern equipment for research and investigation of physical oceanographic, marine optics and acoustics and so on, such as acoustic signals acquisition system, LISST, and wave buoy, etc. The IORS also has a high performance computer cluster system with float point compute power more than 4 trillion/s. Furthermore, there is a multi-functional sink used for research of wave and current interactions. Our labs provide significant support for multidisciplinary research of coastal ocean dynamic processes, ocean circulation and air-sea interactions, key physical processes in marine environment, Arctic and Antarctic sciences, ocean numerical modeling, satellite oceanography, ocean color remote sensing and marine microwave remote sensing. The IORS plays a critical role in the research initiatives, project applications and developments of key disciplines in the School of Marine Sciences.


Center for Atmophere-Ocean Dynamics
Director: Prof. X. San Liang
We address the fundamental problems in atmosphere-ocean science, with scales ranging from that for coastal ocean processes to that for global climate change. These include, not exclusively, nonlinear localized hydrodynamic stability, atmospheric and oceanic predictability, climate dynamics (particularly NAO and ENSO dynamics), chaotic mixing in the ocean, atmospheric cyclogenesis, ocean eddy shedding, mesoscale and sub-mesoscale ocean processes, information flow and causality analysis, multiscale modeling and simulation, to name several. Our research could be both theoretically based and real problem-based.

During the past few years, we have developed a system of novel theories and analysis methodologies for the understanding and quantification of the complex multiscale dynamical processes in real fluid flows, i.e., to address the challenges such as turbulence production, emergence of coherence structures, etc, which are in nature highly nonlinear and intermittent in space and time. It includes a new mathematical apparatus called multiscale window transform (MWT), a theory of canonical transfer, an MWT-based localized multiscale energy and vorticity analysis (MS-EVA), and a localized (fully nonlinear) hydrodynamic stability analysis developed to bring together the concept of hydrodynamic stability and experimental results or observations. This system has been validated with benchmark processes, and applied with success to the study of a variety of complicated atmosphere/ocean and engineering fluid problems, which otherwise would be very difficult, if not impossible, to study.

Another major theme of our current research concerns a rigorous formalism and quantification of information flow, a fundamental notion in general physics originally derived from biological network studies, and predictability evolution and uncertainty propagation in fluid flows. It has applications in the diverse disciplines such as turbulence studies, neuroscience, nanotechnology, atmosphere-ocean science, network dynamics, finance, etc. But prior to Liang and Kleeman (2005, PRL 95, 244101), only empirical formalisms existed. This work and the resulting causality analysis are expected to replace the current correlation analysis with causal relation between dynamical events quantitatively evaluated.


Center for Ocean Circulation and Climate Change
Director: Prof. Zhaomin Wang
One of the most difficult challenges in global change research field is to understand the present state and variability of global oceans. The difficulty arises from the lack of global-scale and sufficient four-dimensional observations, and from the lack of theoretical understanding of many dynamical processes and their correct representations in global ocean circulation models. To understand ocean’s pivotal role in the global climate system and to promote sustained economic development, global ocean circulation modeling has become one of the important frontiers in global change study, having strong links with advanced observational and theoretical studies. This research group is carrying out a series of cutting-edge studies to investigate interactions between the large-scale ocean circulation and global earth system. The current particular research interests are:

Arctic and Antarctic climate change connections under global climate change background;
The influences of the Southern Hemisphere atmospheric and oceanic processes on cross-equatorial air currents and  the Aisa Monsoon circulation;
The role of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds in the global meridional overturning circulation;
The southern subpolar ocean circulation and atmosphere-ocean-ice interactions.

This research group will also carry out many international collaborating studies with scientists in many other fields, for example, ocean ecologists and remote sensing scientists, to investigate the interactions between the climate and ocean ecosystem, and to reconstruct sea surface height in the polar region to derive large-scale polar ocean circulation