Christopher J. R. Garrett

University of Victoria


Primary Section: 16, Geophysics
Membership Type: International Member (elected 2006)

Research Interests

I am a physical oceanographer with a background in applied mathematics and fluid dynamics. My research emphasis has mostly been on theoretical studies of small-scale processes such as waves, tides, turbulent dispersion and mixing, air-sea interaction, and the dynamics of flows in straits. Some highlights have been (i) discovery of the conservation of wave action, or energy divided by intrinsic frequency, rather than energy, (ii) explaining the world's highest tides in the Bay of Fundy in terms of resonance at 13.3 hours of the Fundy/Maine system, (iii) providing simple models for the ubiquitous internal waves in the ocean, (iv) unraveling some of the hydraulics of the exchange flow through the Strait of Gibraltar, (v) using the Mediterranean and Red Sea as test basins for learning about air-sea fluxes, (vi) finding simple ways of understanding the complicated fluid dynamics of turbulent, rotating, stratified motions near the sloping sides of ocean basins. I have also contributed to assessments of the oceanic disposal of radioactive and other wastes, and to issues of ocean energy, such as iceberg trajectory prediction for the Canadian offshore oil industry and deriving fundamental limits to tidal power as well as evaluating its environmental impact.

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