Ocean Dynamics Group, University of Washington
[ Group ]   [ Research ]   [ GFD Lab ]   [ SubZero ]   [ Publications ]   [ Contacts ]

Georgy Manucharyan

  Assistant Professor
  School of Oceanography
  University of Washington

  [ Curriculum Vitae.pdf ]

  Email: gmanuch@uw.edu
  Phone: (206) 221-4879
  Office: OSB 317

G.E. Manucharyan

Our climate is affected by turbulent oceanic flows where energy is being continuously transferred across a wide range of scales -- quantitative understanding of these processes remains one of the big challenges in oceanography. My research resides at a synergetic overlap between geophysical fluid dynamics, physical oceanography, and climate dynamics. I am leading the Ocean Dynamics group at the University of Washington that works on mesoscale and submesoscale ocean turbulence, sea ice-ocean interactions, floe-scale sea ice modeling, laboratory experiments, remote sensing, and applications of Deep Learning to satellite oceanography and ocean turbulence. Our approach is to gain fundamental knowledge by reducing complex phenomena to their driving mechanisms and developing mathematical models to quantify and predict their evolution. Feel free to contact me about potential student and postdoctoral opportunities.

If you are an undergraduate student interested in data science and oceanography, check out our summer program Data Science in Oceanography (and its new webpage)


Scott Martin    

Scott Martin [cv][website]

I'm a graduate student exploring mesoscale and submesoscale ocean turbulence using deep learning. My research focuses on using deep learning to more accurately reconstruct gridded sea surface height maps from sparse along-track satellite altimeter observations. By synthesizing approaches from physics and deep learning, we hope to learn new lessons about the turbulent dynamics of the upper ocean.

Yang (Kitty) Wang    

Yang (Kitty) Wang [website]

I'm a graduate student working on understanding energy fluxes in submesoscale ocean turbulence by developing new remote sensing-based techniques for estimating surface ocean currents.


Channing Prend [cv][website]

I am an oceanographer and NOAA Climate & Global Change postdoctoral fellow with Georgy Manucharyan at UW and Andy Thompson at Caltech. My research uses a combination of observations, numerical models, and remote sensing to investigate the role of the ocean in the climate system. I am particularly interested in Southern Ocean dynamics, including ice-ocean interactions, air-sea fluxes, physical controls on biogeochemistry, large-scale circulation, and submesoscale variability.


Brandon Montemuro [cv][website]

I'm a postdoctoral scholar. My research utilizes applied mathematics to investigate the underlying physics of arctic sea ice. I am working on a sea ice model utilizing a discrete element method to resolve interactions and phenomena at the floe scale. Additionally, my research will implement asymptotic techniques to explore the coupling of interactions between the disparate length scales exhibited by sea ice.


Yuna Liu

I'm an undergraduate student working on numerical modeling of sea ice as it transitions through Nares Straits.


Camille Viviani [linkedin]

I'm an undergraduate research assistant working on understanding the floe size distribution of sea ice as it passes through narrow straits.


Bohan Yao

I'm an undergraduate student exploring the evolution of shapes of interacting ideal vortex clusters to better understand oceanic turbulence.


Robin Chartrand [cv]

I'm an undergraduate research assistant working on the development of Python-based GUI for visualization of data and segmentation of oceanographycally-relevant features.


Lisa Li

I'm an undergraduate student working on dianosing eddy-memory kernels from observations of mesoscale ocean turbulence.


Ayden van den Berg

I'm a research assistant working on understanding the influence of nonlinearities in wind response to temperature fluctuations on the amplitude of ENSO events.

Former group members:

UW postdocs

Kalyan Shrestha [website]

UW undergraduate students

Yaoning Yu, Murray Kang, James Kunetz, Snehal Shokeen

Summer program students

Peiyun Zhu (2016 Caltech SURF, now at Stanford University),

Jessica Kenigson (2017 GFD Summer School at WHOI, now at U. Colorado Boulder),

Robert Fajber (2017 GFD Summer School at WHOI, now at University of Washington),

Tom George (2018 Caltech SURF, now at University College London)


Deep Learning for State Estimation of Unobserved Flows

ResNet SSH
Satellite observations of sea surface height (SSH) are widely used to derive surface ocean currents on a global scale. However, due to gaps in SSH observations, it remains challenging to retrieve the dynamics of rapidly evolving upper-ocean currents. To overcome this limitation, we propose a Deep Learning framework that is based on pattern recognition extracted from SSH observations. Using synthetic data generated from a simplified model of ocean turbulence, we demonstrate that deep learning can accurately estimate both surface and sub-surface ocean currents, significantly outperforming the most commonly used techniques. By providing a proof of concept, our study highlights the strong potential of deep learning for estimating ocean currents from satellite observations.

SubZero: A Sea Ice Model Representing the Floe Lifecycle

Sea ice dynamics is a topic of continuing debate, particularly at scales of motion that are comparable to sea ice floes. We are developing from scratch a sea ice model that is based on an explicit representation of the floe lifecycle, including the fractures, welding, formation, etc. The goal is to have a model that could bridge the gap between the floe scale and the basic scale sea ice dynamics.

Isotropic floe fractures leading to sea ice motion under external stresses

Localized and episodic fluxes due to submesoscale oceanic turbulence play an important role in larger scale dynamics and affect biogeochemical cycles via vertical advection of nutrients. We are exploring submesoscale variability in the Arctic Ocean, particularly in marginal and seasonal ice zones, where active mechanical and thermodynamical eddy interactions with overlying sea ice can affect its growth/melt rates.

Sea ice dynamics

Arctic Ocean stores a large amount of freshwater within the Beaufort Gyre. The freshwater accumulation was linked to changing atmospheric winds, which can cause a release of the accumulated fresh waters with global climate implications. Nonetheless, the basic gyre dynamics are not well understood and it is unclear how much freshwater can be held in under persistent forcing and how quickly it can be released. Combining theory with numerical simulations, we work to explore dominant physical processes governing the FWC dynamics, focusing on the interactions between eddies, mean flow, and sea ice. It is the interplay between these processes that defines the gyre stability and affects its variability.

   numerical simulations

Eddies are commonly observed in the Arctic Ocean and can affect the melting of sea ice due to increased heat fluxes associated with enhanced boundary layer turbulence. However, the nature of mesoscale and submesoscale variability in the Arctic Ocean is not well understood. We use idealized models and high-resolution simulations along with in situ observations to explore the dynamics of outcropping density fronts and identify factors influencing the formation of coherent eddies.


Contact Information

Email: gmanuch@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 221-4879
Office: OSB 317,
School of Oceanography,
University of Washington.
Mailing Address:
Box 355351,
School of Oceanography,
University of Washington,
Seattle, WA, 98115.