Our group conducts research in the general area of fluid dynamics and transport phenomena, with a focus on multiphase, interfacial and geophysical fluid dynamics. Our primary interest lies in gaining a fundamental understanding of the complex physical mechanisms to which such flows give rise. Towards this end, we employ the tools of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), in particular high-resolution, large-scale numerical simulations, as well as linear stability theory. Frequently, we collaborate closely with experimental investigators and with industrial research groups, both within the U.S. and abroad.
Some of our current interests focus on gravity and turbidity currents as well as two-layer hydraulic jumps, which encompass a wide range of geophysical flows of importance to atmospheric dynamics and sediment transport in the ocean. Turbidity currents furthermore play an important role in shaping the seafloor, and in the formation of certain classes of deep-sea oil reservoirs. Some of our current investigations focus on the formation of such seafloor features as channels, gullies, levees and sediment waves via turbidity currents and associated sedimentation processes such as double-diffusive sedimentation.
A further active research area concerns multiphase flows in porous media and Hele-Shaw cells, and specifically the instabilities to which these give rise in the presence of viscosity and density gradients. Some of our recent efforts have focused specifically on the similarities and differences between miscible and immiscible flows.
We generally write our own CFD codes, based on state-of-the-art computational techniques, rather than using commercial software. In order to acquire the required strong background in numerical analysis, graduate students working on research projects in the CFD Lab typically take a series of courses within the Computational Science and Engineering program at UCSB.
For more detailed information, please visit our research pages using the menu above.