Welcome to the COAST Lab

The Coastal Oceanography & Autonomous Systems Lab at UCSB is run by Dr. Nick Nidzieko in the Department of Geography. Our goal is to advance knowledge of how physical processes affect marine ecosystems. We seek to make novel measurements using autonomous platforms and emerging sensor technologies.

Wave buoy deployed!

With the support of the UCSB Coastal Fund, we put SPOT-0186 off of Campus Point this morning. We’ll recover the mooring in a few weeks to inspect for places that are chafing, then redeploy for the summer. In the meantime, you can check out the wave and wind conditions here: https://coastlab.sofarocean.com

New wave buoy!

Spotter serial no. 0139 showed up yesterday via UPS. An important part of our upper ocean turbulence study is understanding how momentum transfers across the air-sea interface under evolving sea states–when the wind and the waves aren’t aligned. We’ll be looking at this locally when diurnal sea breezes come out of the northwest while the…

Successful tests with EdgeTech 6205

As part of the ARPA-E MARINER project, we’re developing ways of using sonar to count kelp. We’re working with EdgeTech in the initial stages of the project, collecting data with a sonar mounted onto Resonance. These initial datasets will allow us to start the data processing work in parallel with the goal of ultimately collecting…

GRL paper describes turbulent mixing in the Chesapeake Bay plume

Turbulence measurements made by an autonomous underwater vehicle reveal that the wind‐driven offshore movement of a coastal river plume leads to intermittent and patchy mixing of plume and shelf waters. These novel, high‐resolution observations highlight the importance of capturing transient features when determining the fate of rivers on continental shelves. You read the accepted, in-press…

New NSF-funded project on Upper Ocean Turbulence

We’re excited to start a new project funded by NSF to study turbulence at the air-sea interface. The transfer of momentum from wind, into waves, and the upper layer of the ocean is a major component of the interaction between the Earth’s ocean and atmosphere. We’re using Callinectes, tricked out with some Nortek ADVs and a…

Construction is over!

After six months of construction (and nearly three years in the waiting), we’re moving into our new digs in Ellison 1620! There’s a ceiling mounted gantry crane, huge roll-up door,  fabrication space (drill press, band saw, 3D printer), and lights! (No more flood lamps!)   Before and after: 

The role of waves in air-sea momentum exchange

Another part of Dr. Fisher’s dissertation is out in JPO. Careful analysis of high-resolution water velocity and wind stress data in Chesapeake Bay points to the importance of the alignment between wind and waves for momentum transfer across the air-sea interface.