Jonathan Nash


Research Interests: Internal Waves and Ocean Mixing

link to NPR’s “Think out loud” broadcast of Jonathan talking about measuring glacial melt

Exploring the physics linking internal waves, turbulence and mixing is key to our understanding the flow of energy through the global ocean system.  We build unique instruments and undertake detailed field campaigns to study the dynamics of small-scale physical processes, and how these influence the ocean.  Examples include:

  1. the generation and dissipation of extremely large internal tides in Luzon Strait (link)

  2. internal waves and turbulent transports in river plumes (link)

  3. the influence of small-scale processes on ocean-terminating glaciers  (link)

  4. near-shore internal waves, bores and turbulence (link)

  5. predictability of internal tides on continental shelves (link)

  6. mixing in the Mediterranean Outflow (link)

Our goal is to identify the processes (the pathways to turbulence) which produce fluxes of heat, salt, biology, chemicals and momentum, and to determine their effect on larger-scale flows.


Jonathan D. Nash
Professor, Physical Oceanography

College of Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Oregon State University, Corvallis OR

Office: 402 Burt Hall

  1. (541)737 4573


Research funded through support from the National Science Foundations, the Office of Naval Research, & the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Left: a 24-h record of density from  Luzon Strait (Taiwan & the Philippines) reveals 600-m tall internal waves breaking downstream of a ridge crest.   more details here...

Above and below: We’ve been developing and building autonomous surface vessels to sample complex 3D dynamics near the face of glaciers, within the Indian Ocean, and in the vicinity of complex topography.   More details can be found here...


B.Sc.,      Queen's University (Engineering Physics), 1991

M.Sc.,      Cornell University (Environmental Engineering), 1995

Ph.D.,      Oregon State University (Oceanography), 2000

Post-doc, University of Washington (Applied Physics Lab), 2000-2