This multidisciplinary project brings together researchers from four laboratories:
LPO, LADHYX, LEGI and IRPHE, who works on the same scientific question but
from two complementary perspectives: physical oceanography and fluid
The dynamics of the ocean over a large scale range will be investigated by the
LPO by means of geosismic and hydrographic measurements combined with
gliders and high resolution numerical simulations using the massively parallel
'Earth Simulator 2' computer in Japan. These simulations will be compared to
large scale laboratory experiments on the new "Coriolis II" rotating platform at
LEGI. The LadHyX and IRPHE have an expertise in stratified turbulence and
layering mechanisms such as the zigzag instability or the radiative instability.


LPO is involved in process studies in Physical Oceanography, with an expertise in large-- and mesoscale geophysical fluid dynamics, from both observational and modeling perspectives. It has been involved in geophysical turbulence since the mid 80s and in High Performance Computing, using the Earth Simulator Center in Japan for the past 5 years.

As the coordinator, LPO will watch over the oceanographic relevance of the whole project, while the other partners are expert in fluid dynamics issues.


LadhyX has been involved in numerical, theoretical and experimental studies on stratified flows with a focus on the layering phenomenon for the past 10 years. It has performed numerous instability studies in the context of stratified fluid, and contributed to the recent advances in the understanding of stratified turbulence. He has also a strong experience in vortex generation as an experimental approach to stratified turbulence.


LEGI is managing the large rotating platform 'Coriolis' needed to approach experimentally the multi-scale structure of rotating stratified turbulence. It has performed various studies on vortex dynamics and stratified turbulence. The appropriate instrumentation and engineering support is available.

J. Sommeria has a long-standing interest in geostrophic and stratified turbulence, both from laboratory and theoretical approaches.

L. Gostiaux has a strong expertise in internal gravity waves and the laboratory techniques involved. He has been also involved in geoseismic observations, hence his background is ideal to link this project with oceanic data.


The laboratory IRPHE has been studying hydrodynamical instabilities for more than 15 years, with an emphasis on the instabilities of vortices in fundamental and industrial configurations (airplane wakes and turbo-pumps). The institute has gained a renowned expertise concerning the experimental and theoretical characterisation of instabilities in model flows.

The team «Geophysical and rotating flows» of IRPHE has been created in 2005 in order to transfer these experimental and theoretical knowledge from homogeneous fluids to geophysical flows (stratified and rotating). The recent theoretical and experimental results obtained by this team on the radiative instability of a tall columnar vortex will be extended to the case of a flat lens-shaped vortex, which is a key step in the global project. Moreover, the
presence at IRPHE of a small rotating platform will allow to validate the theoretical approach and to complement the experiments on the rotating platform ‘Coriolis’.

Finally, the team «Geophysics» of IRPHE will highly benefit from this project because it will bring its researchers, issued from the engineering community, closer to researchers of the other laboratories, which are deeply involved in the oceanographic community.