Exploring the upper ocean

Tandon Laboratory at UMass Dartmouth

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Siddhant (Sid) Kerhalkar is now a PhD Candidate

Congratulations are in order to Sid, who defended his PhD dissertation proposal titled “On the Diurnal Warm Layers in the Bay of Bengal” on August 23, 2021 (in the aftermath of Hurricane Henri) and thus, has transitioned to a PhD candidate position in Tandon laboratory. This session involved him giving a public talk for about 50 minutes which was followed by a closed room discussion session with his advisor Prof Amit Tandon (UMass Dartmouth) and committee members Prof Miles Sundermeyer (UMass Dartmouth), Dr Tom Farrar (WHOI) and Dr Ken Hughes (Oregon State Univ).  








Prior to this session, he also took a written comprehensive exam in June 2021 which comprised of two sessions: an open book and a closed book session, each lasting 4 hours. The exams consisted of questions from his formal coursework in UMass Dartmouth and questions related to his research.

Iury Simoes-Sousa is now a PhD Candidate

Congratulations are in order to Iury, who defended his PhD dissertation proposal titled “On Three Sub-Grid Scale Processes and Their Influence on Larger Scales in the Ocean-Atmosphere System” on August 16, 2021, and thus has transitioned to a PhD candidate position in Tandon laboratory. This session involved him giving a public talk for about 50 minutes which was followed by a closed room discussion session with his advisor, Prof Amit Tandon (UMass Dartmouth) and committee members Prof Geoff Cowles (UMass Dartmouth), Prof Dan MacDonald (UMass Dartmouth) and Prof Sam Kelly (University of Minnesota Duluth).  
Prior to this session, he also took a written comprehensive exam in December 2019.

Title: Caue Zirnberger Lazaneo successfully defends his dissertation

Congratulations to Dr. Caue Lazaneo! 

Caue defended his PhD dissertation titled “Mixing and Submesoscale Dynamics on the Western South Atlantic Ocean” on July 29, 2021. This session involved him giving a public talk for about 50 minutes which was followed by a closed room Q&A session with his advisors Prof Ilson da Silveira (USP), Prof Amit Tandon (UMass Dartmouth) and committee members Prof Joseph Harari (USP), Prof Dan MacDonald (UMass Dartmouth) and Prof Paulo Calil (Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon). 

Caue was enrolled in the UMass Dartmouth- USP Dual Degree PhD program.


July 08. 2021: We now have two hydrophones and a weather station deployed on our pier at the School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST), just in time for Tropical Storm Elsa, to get some good pilot data this weekend. Alan and CJ did a great job getting everything together for the deployment before Alan heads to San Diego to work in Dr Luca Centurioni’s lab. Forrest and Jen, the SMAST divers were super helpful working with us.

The hydrophones are approximately 1m and 2m below the low tide mark, and the tide is roughly 1 m here, so we’ll get a range of depths over time.

Tandon Lab now functioning in person amidst the pandemic

Since the COVID-19 was in full force in Massachusetts for the past year, the members of the Tandon Lab were forced to stay at home (as per the local policies) and work remotely. But the rapid vaccination campaigns across the state lead to the university allowing the research to be conducted in person. This lead to a very unique setting of a hybrid meeting on June 10, 2021 where the local members of the group attended the meeting in-person at the SMAST East conference room while the international members attended this meeting remotely (via zoom). This is because Prof Tandon co-advises a lot of students from international collaborations (including the dual degree PhD students from the University of Sao Paolo) who could not join us to meet in person due to the current travel restrictions.

Sitting: Patrick, Standing (from left): Prof Tandon, Alan, Iury, Ersen’S and Sid at SMAST-East conference room

Local participants included Prof Amit Tandon, Iury (PhD candidate), Sid (PhD student), Patrick (Masters student), Alan (Former REU and incoming Masters student) and Ersen’S (Summer REU student) while international members included Shikha (Scientist at IITM Pune), Filipe (PhD dual degree candidate) and Caique (Masters student at USP co-advised with Prof Ilson). The unique settings were a challenge initially but the members of the group were resilient during the meeting. Tandon Lab is now functioning in person.

Local Members of Tandon Lab with the glorious SMAST-E building in the background. From left: Sid, Iury, Prof Tandon, Patrick, Alan, Ersen’S and CJ

Alan Andonian from our research group presents at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, and MassURC 2021

On Tuesday, April 13th 2021, Alan Andonian, a Mechanical Engineering senior and an undergraduate researcher presented his research on Fluid Motion Over Topography on a Rotating Earth at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCURS). On Friday, April 23rd he will be presenting this study at the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MasssURC). Alan’s mentors were Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) PhD Student Iury Simoes-Sousa and Prof. Amit Tandon from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Alan’s presentation shows a numerical simulation of the ocean phenomena known as the Taylor Column. This counterintuitive phenomenon occurs at large-scales affected by Earth’s rotation. It can also be simulated at smaller scales, as in a rotating tank in the laboratory, which was made difficult by the pandemic. Therefore to demonstrate the effects of rotation in geophysical fluids, a MITgcm numerical model was created (Figure below). From this image, we can see that the flow goes around the topography even towards the surface. It is as if there is an invisible obstacle blocking the flow trajectory, the Taylor Column.

Alan Andonian

Iury Simoes-Sousa








JGR-Ocean Paper published on “Submesoscale phenomena due to the Brazil Current crossing of the Vitória‐Trindade Ridge”

A paper by Dante and Prof Amit Tandon has just been published in JGR-Ocean titled “Submesoscale phenomena due to the Brazil Current crossing of the Vitória‐Trindade Ridge”. The paper can be found here.

Congratulations Dante and Prof Tandon!

Plain language summary of this paper appears below:
“At 20.5°S, strong currents interact with a submarine chain, the Vitória‐Trindade Ridge. In this study, we use new observations and a 2 km‐resolution regional numerical model to analyze how the interaction between the Brazil Current and the Vitória‐Trindade Ridge seamounts give rise to submesoscale instabilities. We present new high‐resolution velocity and density observations that capture submesoscale features associated with the flow, with patches of unstable flow associated with the Brazil Current interacting with the seamounts. In the same transects of the cruise, our simulation shows that submesoscale activity follows a typical seasonal cycle. But this seasonality is masked in regions where the flow intercepts topography. A Spatio-temporal analysis of the vertical fluxes points to flow‐topography interactions as the main source for these recurrent, deeper instabilities. As the Vitória‐Trindade Ridge emerges as a submesoscale hotspot in the oligotrophic South Atlantic, the lack of observations still remains the main obstacle to better understand the submesoscale processes in the region.”

JGR-Ocean Paper published on Process studies regarding “Generation of Submesoscale Temperature Inversions below Salinity Fronts”

A Paper by Sanjiv and Prof Amit Tandon has just been published in JGR-Ocean titled “Generation of Submesoscale Temperature Inversions Below Salinity Fronts in the Bay of Bengal” . This process study paper is motivated by our winter BoB observations of sub-surface warm layers.

Link to the paper can be found here.

Congratulations Sanjiv and Prof Tandon !

A plain language summary of the paper appears below:

“The ocean and atmosphere communicate at the air-sea interface. This communication occurs through exchange of heat, momentum, and other properties. The exchange of heat, in particular, shapes the coupled interplay of the ocean and atmosphere over periods ranging from hours to years. The change in ocean temperature versus depth crucially impacts how much heat is available for exchange with the overlying atmosphere. Typically, temperature decreases with depth but in regions like the Bay of Bengal (BoB), it can increase with depth for some distance before continuing to decrease at greater depths. Such increases in temperature are called “inversions.” In this study, we use high-resolution numerical modeling to explain the formation of inversions in the BoB that have a thickness of 10–30 m and a horizontal size of 1–10 km (submesoscale). Observations show frequent occurrence of such inversions in this region. We identify mechanisms illustrating how such inversions might be formed. Our results have potential implications for climate models where the grid spacing is too coarse to capture such mechanisms. The study demonstrates the value of high-resolution modeling in identifying new processes missing in today’s climate models.”

Student Spotlight on Sid by GSS, UMass Dartmouth

Sid, who is a second-year PhD student at Tandon Labs was recently featured in the Student Spotlight Series by Graduate Student Senate (GSS), UMass Dartmouth. Find more about his graduate student life and our research in the article here.

Nice going, Sid!

Prof Amit Tandon live at USIEF session on “The Oceans and the Monsoon”

The United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) organized a virtual session on “The Oceans and the Monsoon” on Thursday, June 25, 2020, from 5 p.m. to 6.15 p.m(IST). Mr Moulik D. Berkana, Cultural Affairs Officer, the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, presented the opening remarks followed by a Special Address by Dr M. Rajeevan, Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi.

Prof Amit Tandon served as one of the panellists in this. The other panellists of this webinar included Dr R Venkatesan (NIOT and Professional Excellence fellowship scholar, UMassD) and Shikha Singh ( Scientist-C at IITM and currently a member of Tandon Labs as a Fulbright Doctoral scholar with UMassD as the host institution).

The session was about how Oceans around India play a crucial role in bringing and sustaining Monsoons and how oceanic patterns should be used as an indicator for agriculture and policies. This session also addressed the challenges faced for predicting the onset of Monsoon and the amplitude of intraseasonal variations amidst the time that this seasonal phenomenon is currently active over the Indian Subcontinent.

A total of 1164 people registered and there were 599 attendees from India and USA.

One can find the recorded version of this webinar here.

From L to R: Ms Shikha Singh, Prof Amit Tandon, Dr. R. Venkatesan, Mr. Moulik Berkhana, and the Secretary MoES Dr. M. Rajeevan

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