Seismic Oceanography


Imaging the oceanic interior

Just as acoustic impulses image rock boundaries, they image thermohaline boundaries in the ocean interior. Information on ocean structure, turbulent patterns, and thermal structures are present in the seismic data recorded.


Slope spectral methods

Seismic reflections generally follow isopycnal surfaces in the oceanic interior. The shape and slope of these surfaces tell us about inherent internal wave energy and turbulent energy across the seismic section.


Estimating turbulence: model results

Synthetic seismic data provides a benchmark test for estimating oceanic turbulence. Slope spectral methods I developed in graduate school show convincing agreement with modeled ocean behavior.


Lee waves and turbulence

Lee waves make difficult targets for traditional ocean turbulence measurements as they have limited spatial extent and are not mobile. Seismic methods are uniquely suited for addressing these common ocean features and provide estimates of turbulent diffusivity for regions where ocean currents flow over rough bathymetry.


Solitons and turbulence

The ridges on the eastern border of the South China Sea are one of the biggest generators of internal wave energy in the global ocean. Seismic spectral methods show that internal waves generated here have signature turbulent "fingerprints" at every stage of tidal forcing.


Seafloor interaction and turbulence

It has long been known that tidal and ocean current interaction with rough bathymetry accounts for significant ocean mixing. Seismic oceanography can examine the flow interaction with the seabed across great swaths very quickly.