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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 Ph. D. program in Applied Math and GFD with the FSU Department of Mathematics.

Upcoming Seminars:

Upcoming GFDI Colloquia
2016-01-25 Yueyue Yu Seminar

“Feeling the Pulse of the Stratosphere: An Emerging Opportunity for Predicting Continental-Scale Cold Air Outbreaks One Month in Advance” 


Dr. Yueyue Yu

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute

Florida State University

Time: Monday, January 25, 2016 at 2:30PM 

Place: Melvin Stern Seminar Room

Room 18 Keen Bldg. Refreshments will be served at 2:00PM
Abstract: Extreme weather events such as cold air outbreaks (CAOs) pose great threats to human life and socioeconomic well-being of the modern society. In the past, our capability to predict their occurrences is constrained by the 2-week predictability limit for weather. We demonstrate here a new source of sub-seasonal predictability of CAOs: a rapid increase of air mass transported into the polar stratosphere, referred to as “the pulse of the stratosphere (PULSE)”. Firstly, such PULSEs can be directly derived from the output fields of operational models once they are generated and often be predicted with a useful skill 4–6 weeks in advance by operational forecast models, such as CFSv2; and secondly, the PULSE events have robust diagnostic relations with the timing of individual continental-scale CAO events in northern hemispheric mid-latitudes, namely the probability of the occurrence of continental-scale CAOs increases substantially above the normal condition within a short time period from one week before to 1-2 weeks after the peak day of a PULSE event. Those advantages of PULSEs inspired us to construct a hybrid paradigm (dynamical and statistical) for forecasts of CAOs one month in advance. To test this idea, we have inaugurated a real time forecast experiment since the winter of 2014–15, which is mainly supported by Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute, FSU and leaded by Prof. Ming Cai.

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News Items:

2015-10-30 Educational field trip on the St. Marks and Wakulla river

FSU and the Big Bend Coastal Conservancy (BBCC) organized a field trip on the St. Marks and Wakulla river for The Florida Master Naturalist Program's 'Coastal Systems Module'. This field trip was meant to introduce students to the physical characteristics of Florida's waterways and coastal area, as well as basic sampling procedures. Primarily, focus was on variations in salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen and sources of these variations. From there, discussions led us to river-ocean mixing and basic air-sea interactions. Students were split among four boats, where they were in charge of sampling under the supervision of a FSU volunteer. Instruments used were: a SeaBird CTD, two handheld YSI CT's, a YSI water quality sonde, secchi disks, underwater camera and rhodamine dye. FSU volunteers were Elizabeth Simons (GFDI), Karina Khazmutdinova (GFDI), Thomas Kelly (EOAS) and Natalie Geyer (EOAS). 

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Nick Moore on the Optimal Flexible Wing Design

GFDI Associate Prof. Nick Moore recently published a paper on the optimum design for a flexible wing.  

"'We want to understand how wings and fins perform differently when they are made of flexible material,' Moore said. 'Sometimes, flexibility can really boost performance, but too much flexibility can be a bad thing. We want to find the happy medium.'"

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20-year-old cave diving mystery



GFDI Assoicate Dr. Doron Nof, along with graduate student Lakshika Girihigama and researcher Dr. Catherine Hancock are featured in this FSU news bulletin about their research on the fluid dynamics of underwater cave collapse.

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Office Manager Vijaya Challa receives Exemplary Service Award

Office Manager Vijaya Challa receives Exemplary Service Award

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Associate Ming Ye interviewed in NOVA episode

GFDI Associate Dr. Ming Ye appeared in a recent episode of NOVA, Sinkholes—Buried Alive, which aired January 28, 2015 on PBS. Dr. Ye demonstrated a laboratory model of sinkhole formation designed by Dr. Daniel Kuncicky and run by graduate students Xia Tao and Roger Pacheco. The segment starts at 14:32.

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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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