Current meters at Black's Beach, La Jolla, Calif. - Photo: Marc Tule
Physical oceanographers study the mechanisms of energy transfer through the sea and across its boundaries as well as the physical interactions of the ocean with its surroundings.
Research activities include studies of the general circulation of the oceans; properties of wind waves, internal waves, and tsunamis; optical and acoustical properties of the ocean; and the influence of the surf on nearshore currents and sediment transport.
Scripps physical oceanographers are designing computer models that incorporate factors such as water turbulence into biological studies of plankton distribution, helping scientists develop better models of ocean ecology.
Researchers are mapping ocean currents, generating high-resolution surveys that allow greater understanding of seasonal and decadal variations in the structure of ocean circulation.