Jan Zika's Current Research Areas


The Tracer Contour Inverse Method

The tracer contour method is a new and innovative inverse method developed by Jan Zika, Trevor McDougall and Bernadette Sloyan. The method exploits subtle balances of advection and diffusion in the global ocean. The tracer-contour inverse method combines aspects of the box, beta spiral and Bernoulli methods. For details see  Zika, McDougall and Sloyan (2010).

The tracer-contour inverse method has been validated against the output of a layered model and against in-situ observations from the eastern North Atlantic. The method accurately reproduces the observed mixing rates and reveals their vertical structure ( Zika, McDougall and Sloyan, 2010; right).

Dynamics of the Southern Ocean

Jan Zika's primary research focus is on the Southern Ocean. He has used observations and a form of inverse method, to infer the relationship between the Southern Ocean Overturning Circulation and both Along-Isopycnal and Vertical Mixing  (Zika, Sloyan and McDougall, 2009).

At present Jan and his collaborators are exploring the dynamics of the Southern Ocean via two avenues: Through eddy permitting to eddy resolving numerical simulations within the  Southern Cross Project and through observationally based inverse modelling within the  DIMES and  SOFINE experiments.



Ocean Model Development

Jan is involved in model development and validation as part of the Southern Cross and Drakkar group projects. The Southern Cross project aims to create a hierarchy of eddy-permitting to eddy-resolving models of the Southern Ocean. Aided by the experiences of the Drakkar community, the 'Periant' suit of model configurations are highly realistic in their description of the dynamics and thermodynamics of the Southern Ocean.

The image to the right shows the mean sea surface height in the Drake Passage region in the eddy resolving PERIANT8 simulatio. One of Jan's recent finding is that the strength of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current through Drake Passage, is strongly controlled by the spatial pattern of the wind in just downstream.

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