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29th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics

Marine turbulence revisited

Liège, May 5-9 1997

General introduction

Almost twenty years after the 11th Liège Colloquium on "Turbulence in the ocean. From the millimeter to the megameter" and ten years after the 19th Colloquium on "Small-scale turbulence and mixing in the ocean", it seems appropriate to devote again one of the Liège Colloquia to the subject of marine turbulence.
In the last decade, with in particular the development of sophisticated new techniques of measurements, substantial progresses have been made in understanding marine turbulence while, in the same time, uncovering more of its complexity.
The development of 3D turbulent closure mathematical models, extended from hydrodynamics to include the dynamics of ecosystems, has emphasized the role of turbulence as one of the cogent driving mechanisms of most of the physical processes deeply affecting the distribution and evolution of biological populations. A good parameterization of the effects of turbulence in such models can only be achieved via a continuously improved knowledge of the nature and characteristics of turbulence in the various conditions of the intricated marine environment.
Turbulence in the lower mesoscale range (motion with relative vorticity approaching the Coriolis frequency) has an important effect on the distribution of biological population, the formation or dispersion of patches and such biological factors as the availability of food, the encounter rates between preys and predators...
Small-scale turbulence directly influences behavioural functions of marine organisms (techniques of feeding, perception of signals, reproduction...) and its presence or its absence is often a selecting factor between species.
It is hoped that revisiting marine turbulence at the 29th International Liège Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics will provide an opportunity to

  1. bring up to date, as much as possible, our understanding of marine turbulence and in particular lower mesoscale turbulence which was not adequately covered in our preceding meetings but has been the object of much interest since then and small-scale turbulence very near the sea surface where the role of wave breaking, bubbles, surface films and Langmuir cells make a rather complex picture one begins only to comprehend fully;
  2. bring together scientists from different disciplines to assess what we know about the effects of turbulence on biological populations at the levels of both the organisms and the shoals and patches;
  3. reexamine critically the parameterization of turbulence in 3D turbulent closure models and the improvements that could be made to such models to provide the most realistic ecohydrodynamics simulations of the marine environment.

International Scientific Organizing Committee

A. Berger, University of Louvain, Belgium.

Michael C. Gregg, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Eric B. Kraus, Pagosa Springs, CO, USA

John L. Lumley, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Horst Malchow, Osnabrueck Germany

George L. Mellor, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

Jacques C.J. Nihoul (Chairman), University of Liège, Belgium.

Rotislas V. OZMIDOV, P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

John H. Simpson, University College of North Wales, Gwynedd, UK

Steve A. Thorpe, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

John D. Woods, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK

Hidekatsu Yamazaki, Tokyo University of Fisheries, Tokyo, Japan

Local Organizing Committee

J.M. Beckers

S. Djenidi (Chairman)

Ch. Winand (Secretary)

Address :

GHER - Modelenvironment
University of Liège
Sart Tilman, B5
B-4000 Liège, Belgium

Phone : +32 4 366 33 50
Fax : +32 4 366 23 55
e-mail :


The members of the Organizing Committees wish to express their gratitude to the :

  • Commission of the European Union
  • Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS, Belgium)
  • Institut de Recherche Marines et d'interactions Air-mer (IRMA, Belgium)
  • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
  • International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean (IAPSO)
  • Marine Sciences Division (UNESCO)
  • Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche scientifique (Belgium)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF, USA)
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR, USA)
  • Scientific Council on Oceanic Research (SCOR, XSU)
  • Province de Liège
  • Université de Liège
for their valuable assistance in organizing the Colloquium.

Final rogram



[Colloquium 2004] [Colloquium 2003] [Colloquium 2002] [Colloquium 2001] [Colloquium 2000] [Colloquium 1999] [Colloquium 1998] [Colloquium1997] [Colloquium 1996]

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