My research focuses on understanding the mixing and transport processes driving the water mass transformation in the estuarine and coastal regions as these processes ultimately control the fate of freshwater and the water mass structure on the continental shelf. To advance this pursuit I develop novel analytical tools and utilize numerical models along with observational oceanographic and meteorological data in an attempt to capture and advance the understanding of the underlying physical processes.
Dramatic transformations occur as water masses transition from fresh riverine water to open ocean composition. Turbulent mixing processes are responsible for the bulk of the mixing required for this transformation, which occurs within the estuary and the buoyant river plume that is discharged into the coastal ocean. These are dynamic regions with an inherently high degree of spatial and temporal variability which has led to important aspects of the mixing and transport processes remaining elusive.