This field looks at the dynamics of water through natural and artificial conduits and its engineering. Engineering of efficient water delivery systems, study of the flow of water through natural systems, and the engineering of marine structures are all related through the general field of fluid mechanics.
Coastal and Marine Systems
Existing water-wave theories are expanded to enhance our knowledge of these complicated physical phenomena. Current research projects focus on five issues: (i) Generation of waves by the wind, (ii) Nonlinear interactions within a wave spectrum, (iii) Tsunami hydrodynamics (iv) Waves over a variable bathymetry, and (v) Climate change effects on waves and sediment transport.
Water Resources Systems
Water resources systems examines approaches and methodologies aimed to aid decision making in the planning, design, operation, and management of environmental and water resources systems. These include the development and application of mathematical models for water resources management of water distribution systems, aquifers, reservoirs and others, as stand alone or integrated elements, with either deterministic or stochastic characteristics. Such systems inherently incorporate uncertainty in their inputs, measurements, parameters, and outputs. As such, providing solutions to problems associated with simulating and assessing the risk of water resources systems is one of the most challenging and important arenas of research in this field. Examples include the probability of exceeding a certain concentration of a hazard pollutant at a specific place and time within a watershed; municipal water resources management and water supply planning under uncertainty; water security; and simulation of the transport and fate of contaminants in aquifers, wetlands, lakes and other ecosystems.
Environmental Fluid Mechanics
Traditionally, research in environmental fluid mechanics was limited to large-scale phenomena such as ocean and atmospheric flows. However, in recent years there has been growing interest in natural flows and transport phenomena within smaller length scales. Such studies are important since they better provide environmental understanding where it is most needed, i.e., near the terrestrial and benthic surfaces. This research group is particularly interested in flows through vegetation and forest canopies, streambeds and coral reef habitats. By using state-of-the-art measurement tools such as Particle Image Velocimetry and isotope analysis, the group investigates the mechanisms that control the transfer of momentum, mass and energy between free and obstructed environments