Physics of the sea and land waters

Physics of the sea and land waters During the first years after the Institute had been set up its physical oceanologists focused their attention on experimental and theoretical studies of the systems of ocean currents and water mass mixing processes. The theoretical studies were headed by V.B.Shtockman and the experimental - by A.D.Dobrovolsky. V.B.Shtockman was the first in ocean science to explain the emergence of counter-currents and anisotropy of exchange processes in the ocean. The measurements from the "Vityaz" enabled A.D.Dobrovolsky and his school to construct reliable charts of ocean currents, the first charts of the kind in Russian oceanology.

The foundations laid down by P.P.Shirshov, A.D.Dobrovolsky and V.B.Shtockman favoured the emergence and successful development at the Institute of a strong school of physical oceanologists. together with the above-mentioned scientists, the fame of the school was created by the well-known scientists like L.M.Brekhovskikh, V.G.Kort, A.S.Monin, V.E.Zakharov, R.V.Ozmidov, A.S.Sarkisyan, V.N.Stepanov, K.N.Fedorov, V.M.Kamenkovich, M.N.Koshlyakov, S.S.Voit, Yu.A.lvanov, G.I.Barenblatt, B.A.Tareev, V.A.Burkov.

Traditional physical oceanology engaged in the studies of ocean temperature, salinity, density, currents etc. was enriched by other fields of research, such as acoustics and optics of the ocean, sea turbulence, large-scale circulation, fine structure of oceanic waters, the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere, sea waves, geophysical hydro-dynamics, sattelite oceanology and so on. Studies of physical processes in the World Ocean made it possible to discover many new, formerly unknown scientific facts (for example, the Tareev Sub-surface Current) and phenomena (synoptic eddies), to explain a number of formerly unclear anomalies (in particular, El-Nino), to develop new theoretical concepts as a contribution to the world's science, as well as to collect unique hydrological databases. Complex measurements with the aid of an array of long-term moored stations ("Polygon-78") organized for the first time in the world's practice and the measurements at the Polygon stations ("Polygon-70", "POLYMODE", "Mesopolygon", "Megapolygon") revealed the existence in the ocean of synoptic-scale eddies which later weic proved to be the most important element in the general circulation of the World Ocean. Important results were obtained in the studies of the intratermocline eddies, including the mediterranean origin eddies. Notable progress was made in the studies of fine structure of the ocean hydrophysical fields. The major parameters of the fine structure were determined, mechanisms responsible for its generation and transformation and its role in heat and salt transport in the ocean were investigated.

Much was achieved in the studies of sea turbulence and matter diffusion in the ocean. Models were constructed of matter transport, intermittent turbulence, the near-bottom turbulent layer and turbulent tail off seamounts. The experiments with fluorescent dyes made it possible to formulate laws of admixture diffusion in the ocean. The Institute's oceanologists have made an essential contribution to the study of waves. Mechanisms responsible for the formation of the spatial spectrum of the surface waves and the behaviour of waves, including internal ones, in variable and nonhomogeneous currents weic studied.

The optics of the ocean embraces studies of the laws governing the distribution of light radiation in the water medium, the development of remote optical methods for exploring the ocean.

In the ocean acoustics, new regularities were revealed in sound propagation in the ocean water and experiments on acoustic tomography were undertaken. Noise fields in the ocean were studied and the processes of sound propagation, scattering and attenuation were found to depend on the hydrophysical parameters of water and bottom relief. Satellite oceanology has been progressing at the Institute. In particular, satellite data of the visible and infrared bands were found to be interrelated with biological productivity of the ocean.


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