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Ocean Surface Dynamics

Interaction between swell and currents at the "Ellenbogen"

Interaction between swell and currents at the "Ellenbogen", Sylt, Germany. -image: Jochen Horstmann/Hereon-

The dynamics of the sea surface make a decisive contribution to the exchange of energy and gases between the ocean and atmosphere and are thereby an essential climate component.
Using in situ and remote sensing techniques, we study the dynamics at the ocean surface as well as the processes that take place near the surface. For this purpose, we develop radar and video-based measurement techniques that facilitate surface observations in space and time, on scales ranging from centimeters to hundreds of kilometers. We are particularly interested in the interactions between wind, sea state and current, wherein we focus on extreme waves. We also want to estimate how wind, waves and currents will change the coasts as the sea level rises.