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:
Legg, Sonya, January 2014: Scattering of low-mode internal waves at finite isolated topography. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44(1), doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0241.1.
Melet, Angelique, Robert W Hallberg, Sonya Legg, and K Polzin, March 2013: Sensitivity of the Ocean State to the Vertical Distribution of Internal-Tide Driven Mixing. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 43(3), doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-055.1.
Buijsman, M C., Sonya Legg, and J Klymak, August 2012: Double Ridge Internal Tide Interference and its Effect on Dissipation in Luzon Strait. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42(8), doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0210.1.
Klymak, J, Sonya Legg, and R Pinkel, September 2010: A simple parameterization of turbulent tidal mixing near supercritical topography. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 40(9), doi:10.1175/2010JPO4396.1.
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.