Thesis Committee: Joshua Socolar (Advisor), Henry Greenside, Seog Oh, Stephen Teitsworth
This study utilizes tools developed in dynamical systems theory to examine how fluid flows in the gulfstream off the coast of Florida. Using theoretical and numerical descriptions of local finite time Lyapunov exponents (FTLEs), it is possible to identify "Lagrangian Coherent Structures" in time-dependent flow fields. These structures are bounded by persistent lines of trajectory shredding and folding that are barriers to mixing between adjacent parcels of fluid. This study reviews established Eulerian and Lagrangian techniques for identifying dynamically distinct regions of the flow and explores the functioning and limitations of applying the FTLE methodology to the special case of high-resolution model data in the Florida Straits region.
Here is the thesis in PDF: Robel_thesis.pdf