Ice and Fluid Dynamics

Group Leaders:

The Ice and Fluid Dynamics research group focuses on improving understanding of fluid dynamical processes that contribute to controlling the climate state, with a particular emphasis on interactions between the cryosphere and ocean circulation. We study the nonlinear dynamics of fluid flows and thermodynamic processes, ranging from growth and melting of ice at the poles, to the turbulent dynamics of dense ocean currents. Amongst our wider interest in environmental fluid flows, current areas of investigation include:

  • understanding the multiphase properties of sea ice, which forms near the poles each winter by freezing of the ocean and controls climate feedbacks such as buoyancy forcing of the polar oceans,

  • modelling the melting of large glacial ice-shelves in contact with the ocean, which impact contributions to sea level rise,

  • probing the fundamental properties of turbulent buoyancy-driven flows, such as the dense ocean overflows that ventilate the deep oceans.

A short video of current student Joe Hitchen talking about "Sea ice growth: Mushy layers, convection and brinicles" can be found at this link:

Movie: introduction to "Sea ice growth: Mushy layers, convection and brinicles" by current student Joe Hitchen

Our research uses theoretical modelling tools and computational simulations, informed by experiments and observations, to provide fresh insight into these physical processes.

Convective flows in porous sea ice: Combining theory, simulation and experiment to understand sea ice processes

You can also find further details on the research page of Andrew Wells.

If you are interested in joining our group as a student or postdoctoral researcher, please feel free to get in touch.