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February 28, 2013

Speaker: Greg Lewis, UOIT

Title: A Dynamical Systems Approach to Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Abstract: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics is the study of fluid systems for which rotation and differential heating play a dominant role. Examples of geophysical fluids include the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean. Such fluids exhibit complex nonlinear behaviour that is not well understood. In principle, bifurcation analysis can be used to gain insight into the nature of these complex dynamics. However, the models describing geophysical fluid flow are systems of nonlinear PDEs, based on the Navier-Stokes equations, and usually do not offer the possibility of fully analytical analysis. Furthermore, the most common numerical bifurcation techniques are designed for low-dimensional systems, and therefore are inappropriate in this context. In this talk, I will discuss some of the interesting nonlinear phenomena that have been observed in various geophysical fluid systems, and discuss the analytical and special numerical methods for large-dimensional systems that have been used to study them.

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