Melvin Stern

Stern Photo The Ekman Professor Emeritus of Oceanography

Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1956
National Academy of Sciences

My research is on basic fluid dynamics, especially as it relates to physical oceanography. This includes the problem of the instability of large scale ocean currents and the resulting finite amplitude effects (e.g. entrainment).

Another problem of long time interest is "double diffusive" effects such as salt fingers produced by the unique combination of temperature and salinity in the density stratified oceans.

I am currently working on analytical and numerical models of the separation of currents or eddies from continental boundary currents like the Gulf Stream and the Mediterranean outflow along the Iberian coast. In the latter case "Meddies" (so-called) separate from the parent jet and eventually maintain the high salinity of a major oceanic water mass.