Uncovering Transport Barriers in Geophysical Flows (13w5089)


(ETH Zurich)

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

(University of Wisconsin)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Uncovering Transport Barriers in Geophysical Flows" workshop from September 22nd to September 27th, 2013.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and the Fukushima nuclear disaster are recent examples of environmental disasters for which improved understanding of transport by geophysical fluid flows would have greatly assisted the response strategies of government agencies, and the ability to provide reliable information to the general public. Geophysical fluid flows are notoriously complex and difficult to predict, however, and it remains a substantial challenge to the mathematical community to develop robust and reliable methods to tackle such flows.

In recent years there has been significant progress in the development of methods for identifying the dynamic skeleton of geophysical flows. A technique based on the notion of Lagrangian Coherent Structures has proven highly promising, along with several other complementary set-theoretical and probabilistic methods. For the first time, the workshop “Uncovering Transport Barriers in Geophysical Flows” will bring together pure and applied mathematicians with engineers and government scientists to assess the state-of-the-art. Advances stemming from this workshop will greatly enhance the ability to make reliable decisions in responding to disasters, such as oil spills or search-and-rescue operations at sea.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).