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Welcome to GFDI!

Founded in 1967, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute fosters collaborative research in fluid dynamics as it applies to the Earth Sciences, Mathematics, and Astrophysics.


Research at GFDI is conducted by our faculty associates using computing, laboratory, and observational facilities at the institute.

PhD's in GFD, Applied Math

GFDI offers an interdisciplinary Ph. D. program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, and a joint program in Applied Math and GFD with the FSU Department of Mathematics.

Upcoming Seminars:

Dr. Youneng Tang Colloquium

“Using Microfluidics to Study the Interaction of Microorganisms and Flow in Porous Media”



Dr. Youneng Tang

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering FAMU-FSU College of Engineering


Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 1:00PM



Melvin Stern Seminar Room

Room 18 Keen Bldg.


Refreshments will be served at 12:45PM


Microfluidic flow cells containing porous media were used to study the interaction among flow, microorganisms, and chemicals in the subsurface environment.  The interaction at the scale of micrometers to centimeters was imaged using a variety of microscopes equipped with cameras.  The interaction mechanisms were investigated through transport and reaction models at different spatial scales.  Two projects that were studied by experimentation and mathematical modeling will be presented, including:

1)     Groundwater Bio-Remediation: Microbes removed a contaminant (selenite) from groundwater by converting the contaminant to nanoparticles (elemental selenium).

2)    Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery:  One common problem in microbial enhanced oil recovery is bio-souring, which refers to hydrogen sulfide production due to microbial sulfate reduction during oil recovery.  Hydrogen sulfide causes health issues and increases the cost for oil processing.  Perchlorate was used to inhibit hydrogen sulfide production.  A multiphase and multiscale flow model is proposed for future research.   

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Upcoming GFDI Colloquia
2016-03-23 Cory Barton Defense


“Spatio-Temporal Evolutions of Non-Orthogonal Equatorial Wave Modes Derived from Observations”


Cory Barton

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Ph.D. Candidate

Florida State University

(Major Professor: Dr. Ming Cai)

Time: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 1:00PM

Place: Melvin Stern Seminar Room Room 18 Keen Bldg.

Dissertation Defense will follow the seminar


Abstract:  Equatorial waves have been studied extensively due to their importance to the tropical climate and weather systems. The non-orthogonality of wave modes has yet posed a problem when attempting to separate data into instantaneous wave fields where the waves project onto the same structure functions. We propose the development and application of a new methodology for equatorial wave expansion of instantaneous flows using the full equatorial wave spectrum. By mapping the meridional structure function amplitudes to the equatorial wave class amplitudes, we are able to diagnose instantaneous wave fields and determine their evolution.


The wave class spectra diagnosed assuming the peak projection response depth scale mostly match their expected dispersion curves, showing that this method successfully partitions the wave spectra by calculating wave amplitudes in physical space. This is particularly striking because the time evolution, and therefore the frequency characteristics, is determined simply by a timeseries of independently-diagnosed instantaneous horizontal fields. Vertical tilting in the wave fields is similarly diagnosed across multiple pressure levels. We have confirmed the continuous evolution of the QBO selection mechanism for equatorial waves in the tropical middle atmosphere and additionally identified a time-evolution of the zonal wavenumber spectrum responsible for the amplitude variability in physical space.

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GFDI Calendar

Seminars and Colloquia are held in the Melvin Stern Seminar Room located at GFDI, 018 Keen Building, FSU Main Campus

Research Highlight:

Grad Student Karina Khazmutdinova: Air Circulation in Dragon's Tooth Cave


Being a natural laboratory, a cave carries imprints of ancient and recent climates, allowing us a unique setting for studying climate change. Karina's work focuses on understanding of the cave's breathing patterns through the main opening and through "chimneys." Proper modeling and simulation of airflow in the cavern will help interpret speleothem records more accurately and see if there is any airflow impact on speleothems' growing patterns. 


A detailed, high-resolution three-dimensional map of DTC with the Dragon's Belly extension was created in November 2015. Using time-of-flight range measurements enhanced by modern Waveform Digitizing technology, Leica ScanStation P20 measures of up to 1 million points per second.

 To make sure every single detail of the cave will be captured,  the measurements were conducted at 52 stations throughout the cave. Field data was converted into digital 3-D point cloud using Cyclone software. A high-resolution 3-D volumetric model is used to more accurately model air flow in the cavern.

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