AOS Faculty Profile
Lecturer, Ph.D. Imperial College, University of London
Address: 341 GFDL
Phone: (609) 452-6582
Email: slegg at princeton.edu
Ocean Turbulence and Mixing
Turbulent mixing processes in the ocean occur on small-scales, yet play an important role in the large-scale climate circulation of the ocean. Examples include oceanic deep convection, mixing driven by tides flowing over the topography of the sea-floor, and the mixing in dense currents flowing down the continental slopes. Because climate models use grids on scales of the order of 100km, they are unable to capture these small-scale processes, and the net effects of the small-scale mixing - for example the modifications of the large-scale temperature and salinity fields - must be parameterized. My research focuses on obtaining a better understanding of these small-scale processes through high resolution numerical simulations combined with theoretical analysis, and using this understanding to derive new physically-based parameterizations to help improve climate simulations.
Some Recent Publications:
Buijsman, M C., Sonya Legg, and J Klymak, in press: Double Ridge Internal Tide Interference and its Effect on Dissipation in Luzon Strait. Journal of Physical Oceanography. doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0210.1. 5/12.
Ilicak, M, Sonya Legg, Alistair Adcroft, and Robert W Hallberg, April 2011: Dynamics of a dense gravity current flowing over a corrugation. Ocean Modelling, 38(1-2), doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2011.02.004.
Nikurashin, M, and Sonya Legg, February 2011: A mechanism for local dissipation of internal tides generated at rough topography. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 41(2), doi:10.1175/2010JPO4522.1.
Legg, Sonya, Tal Ezer, Stephen M Griffies, Robert W Hallberg, and L Jackson, et al., May 2009: Improving oceanic overflow representation in climate models: The gravity current entrainment climate process team. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 90(5), doi:10.1175/2008BAMS2667.1.
Legg, Sonya, and J Klymak, September 2008: Internal hydraulic jumps and overturning generated by tidal flow over a tall steep ridge. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 38(9), doi:10.1175/2008JPO3777.1.