The exponential growth of human populations in the Mekong-South China Sea (SCS) system, the eutrophication of estuarine and coastal waters by excess nutrients transported by the Mekong River, and the rapid sinking of the Mekong Delta are fundamentally changing the biological productivity and biodiversity of the system, with uncertain implications these aquatic resources. In the near future, larger forcings will alter the linkages between the Mekong system and the SCS basin.
Deep subsurface methane hydrate-bearing sediments contain microbial communities that are distinct from shallow marine sediments and hydrate-free environments. DNA evidence suggests that novel bacterial phyla (e.g. Atribacteria) are highly enriched in methane hydrate-bearing sediments. Recent genome assemblies by the Glass group at Georgia Tech are providing insights into the metabolic potential of samples drilled from gas hydrate stability zone 70 mbsf below Hydrate Ridge (IODP Leg 204).
Geochemical time series from remote Pacific atolls have provided long records of climate variability that extend into the pre-industrial era. Recent studies document a wide range of geochemical variability in corals growing on the same reef, ostensibly of the same genus. Deciphering which fraction of coral geochemistry variations are driven by changes in physical environment versus physiological differences between corals is key to constructing more robust records of past climate variability.
The project aims at further testing a new approach, the maximum entropy production (MEP) model of surface heat fluxes (Wang et al, 2014), for modeling and monitoring air-sea exchange of water and heat air-sea water and heat.
Nonlinear dispersive wave groups or packets occur in a wide range of natural systems, exhibiting complex behaviors especially in focal zones where there is rapid wave energy concentration and possible wave breaking. In the presence of dispersion, pure plane waves of different wavelengths and directions traveling within a medium have different propagation velocities. Important classes of geophysical wave systems include surface gravity waves, oceanic and atmospheric internal waves, and seismic waves.
The recently completed resource assessment for ocean current energy (Haas et al. 2013) utilized fairly simplistic analytical methods to estimate the extractable energy from the Gulf Stream System as well as to analyze the relative impacts of large scale energy extraction. This level of analysis can be considered to be accurate to an order of magnitude and only provides an idea on the overall trends of the impacts of extraction. Much higher resolution modeling is required to accurately determine the overall impacts of extraction for both localized and far field effects.