U. of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment

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Helga S. Huntley's Research

My research involves mathematical modeling, scientific computing, and statistical analysis, as applied to the ocean-ice-atmosphere system. The models I use range from simple analytic toy models to complex general circulation models.

Below you can read more about some of my projects. Here are links to some of my publications.

Lagrangian Ocean Dynamics

Drifter Plot The broad question we try to answer is "Where is stuff in the ocean coming from and where is it going?" This line of inquiry has lots of interesting applications, from pollution mitigation and search and rescue missions to biology to tracer transport in the context of climate dynamics. It is also related to some very fundamental questions about the oceans: What mechanisms control the heat and mass exchange between lower and higher latitudes? How do eddies evolve and what causes their ultimate break-up? How can regions of large stretching be identified?

Related questions we pursue concern predictability and model uncertainty. We are looking into methods for identifying regions in the ocean of low predictability as well as for quanitifying the uncertainty inherent in any model forecast.

Here is some more information on this project.

Data Assimilation

My work on data assimilation has taken two main directions. One is related to the Lagrangian ocean dynamics analysis and studies how Lagrangian observations (e.g. from surface drifters) can be used to improve Lagrangian forecasts. This project is described on the Lagrangian Ocean Dynamics page.

The other branch is concentrated on the problem of using data averaged over time to inform a model with higher temporal resolution. One application is in the area of paleoclimate: Observations about the paleoclimate are typically in the form of proxies that capture the conditions over a season, a year, or even longer time intervals.

Here is a little more information on this project.

Sea Ice Dynamics

Sea ice plays an important role in the climate system. It critically controls the albedo (reflectance) of high latitude oceans. The presence of ice changes the dynamic and thermodynamic interactions between the atmosphere and ocean. As a key component in fresh water transport in the Arctic, it also contributes to the ocean circulation. Currently, I am working on using ice models in conjunction with observations to understand the seasonal cycles in ice-ocean dynamics in the Canadian Archipelago. Previously, I have developed a simplified model for sea ice dynamics to test a new implementation for the ice rheology.

Here is an overview of my work in this area.

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