OC - Research Thrusts


Research Thrusts


  1. Coastal Ocean Monitoring using Autonomous and Remote Sensing Instruments
  2. Ocean Acoustics
    • Canada Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (FY16-17)
    • Coordinated Arctic Acoustic Thermometry Experiment (CAATEx)
    • Cross-slope Acoustic Scattering & Transmission Experiment
  3. Expeditionary and Mine Warfare Applications in the Littoral Zone
  4. Observations and Predictions of Arctic Change
  5. Numerical Modeling
OC - Research - Coastal Morphodynamics

Coastal Morphodynamics

Carmel River Beach breach event animation

Connections between land and the coastal ocean are complicated by changes in morphology near river mouths.  These systems pose challenges to characterizing the coastal ocean environment (sediment concentrations, salinity, temperature, etc) as well as characterizing the coastal morphological response (coastal flooding, beach hazards, beach breaching, etc.).  We monitor intermittently breaching systems using remote sensing and in-situ methods including structure-from-motion (SfM), multispectral aerial imagery, circulation (water level and velocity), and water quality (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen).  Waves and river discharge play a critical role in modulating outputs from these systems. 
Thesis opportunities in this lab include UAS (drone) imagery analysis, machine learning with multispectral images, lab experiments on submerged granular flow, mapping of plume/surfzone dynamics, to name a few.  Other opportunities could include morphodynamic modeling of these systems.

Contact: Mara Orescanin


OC - MarineMammalMonitoring

Passive Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Mammals

The NPS Marine Mammal Monitoring program maintains 3 moorings within the Monterey Bay Naitonal Marine Sanctuary.   Long term underwater recordings will provide baseline data on marine mammal vocalizations, allowing researchers to quantify marine mammal species present along the California coastline and help track their migration path/times.

Thesis topics available.  Contact John Joseph

Map showing monitoring locations near Monterey Bay

OC - CLASI Experiment

Coastal Land-Air-Sea Interaction Experiment (CLASI)

The CLASI Defense Research Initiative primary objective is to improve the modeling of evaporation ducts through extensive measurements of wind, momentum and heat flux variability as it cross the shoreline.  This will allow for "coast aware" improvements to numerical weather prediction models.  Field experiments are scheduled in FY21-22 throughout the Monterey Bay region, and will be followed by the Florida Gulf Coast (FY23).

CLASI is a joint experiment with investigators from the Naval Postgraduate School, University of Miami, Ohio State University, University of Minnesota, and the Naval Research Laboratory, and funded by the Office of Naval Research.

Contact: Jamie MacMahan


Coordinated Arctic Acoustic Thermometry Experiment (CAATEx)

A joint U.S. - Norway acoustic propagation experiment across the Arctic ocean is underway.  Mooring deployments were conducted Aug/Sept 2019, led by the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), let by Hanne Sagen aboard the K/V Svalbard, deploying 3 moorings in the Eurasian basin of the Arctic..  In Sept/Oct 2019, the USCGC HEALY conducted a 47 day expedition to the Arctic, led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) to deploy 3 moorings in the Canada basin to complete the trans-Arctic propagation array.   Naval Postgraduate School personel were onboard both icebreakers to deploy oceanographic instrumentation and provide additional mooring deployment support and assistance.

Potential thesis oportunities:  Predictive modeling of the acosutic propagation arrival structures along the experiment path using existing oceanographic data;  Annual temperature variability ocross the Arctic ocean (Fall 2020, after recovery);  Contact Prof. John Colosi.


planned CAATEx mooring positions