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:
Subramanian, A., C. Ummenhofer, A. Giannini, M. Holland, S. Legg, A. Mahadevan, D. Perovich, J. Small, J. Teixeira and L. Thompson, 2016: Translating process understanding to improve climate models. A US CLIVAR white paper. Report 2016-3, 48pp, doi:10.5065/D63X851Q.
Melet, Angelique, Sonya Legg, and Robert Hallberg, May 2016: Climatic impacts of parameterized local and remote tidal mixing. Journal of Climate, 29(10), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0153.1.
Alford, M H., S L Peacock, J A MacKinnon, J D Nash, M C Buijsman, L R Centuroni, Shenn-Yu Chao, Ming-Huei Chang, D M Farmer, O B Fringer, Ke-Hsien Fu, P C Gallacher, H C Graber, K R Helfrich, S M Jachec, C R Jackson, J Klymak, D-S Ko, T M Shaun Johnston, and Sonya Legg, et al., May 2015: The formation and fate of internal waves in the South China Sea. Nature, 521(7550), DOI:10.1038/nature14399.
Melet, Angelique, Robert Hallberg, Alistair Adcroft, M Nikurashin, and Sonya Legg, March 2015: Energy flux into internal lee waves: sensitivity to future climate changes using linear theory and a climate model. Journal of Climate, 28(6), DOI:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00432.1.
Wang, He, Sonya Legg, and Robert Hallberg, February 2015: Representations of the Nordic Seas overflows and their large scale climate impact in coupled models. Ocean Modelling, 86, DOI:10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.12.005.
Melet, Angelique, Robert Hallberg, Sonya Legg, and M Nikurashin, March 2014: Sensitivity of the Ocean State to Lee Wave Driven Mixing. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44(3), DOI:10.1175/JPO-D-13-072.1.
Buijsman, M C., J Klymak, and Sonya Legg, et al., March 2014: Three Dimensional Double Ridge Internal Tide Resonance in Luzon Strait. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44(3), doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-024.1.
Ilicak, M, Alistair Adcroft, and Sonya Legg, October 2014: A framework for parameterization of heterogeneous ocean convection. Ocean Modelling, 82, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.07.002.
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.