Earth Sciences

Leader of the group Earth Sciences: Arjen Doelman

Leader of the group Earth Sciences: Arjen Doelman

Topics in earth sciences daily make headlines in our newspapers: climate change broadly construed, the fresh water supply and the restraint of the ocean, deforestation, and the importance of these topics for food production and energy resources are a concern for policymakers and society in general. Applied mathematics research at CWI is inspired by applications in the earth sciences. Using techniques from mathematical modelling, dynamical systems theory and numerical algorithms, researchers tackle problems in atmosphere and ocean science. The Earth Sciences team has ongoing collaborations with the Dutch meteorological office KNMI and the Dutch oceanographical institute NIOZ. CWI also has a long tradition of mathematics research inspired by or in cooperation with the earth sciences, such as work on air pollution and ground water transport.

Research areas
  • Stochastic Modelling for Atmosphere/Ocean Science, addressing the use and development of stochastic methods for problems in atmosphere-ocean science, with emphasis on estimation of diffusion processes and Markov chains from timeseries and on stochastic subgrid-scale modelling.
  • Transient Luminous Events, addressing the modelling, analysis and simulation of sprite discharges in the stratosphere and other lightning related phenomena.
  • Internal Waves in Stratified Fluids, addressing the dynamics of focusing and defocusing internal ocean waves and their numerical simulation.
  • Uncertainty in Atmospheric Simulations, addressing numerical models of geophysical fluids and their implications for statistical analysis.
  • Control of Dike Heights, addressing the development of a dike-height-control model that uses the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation, as well as a tailor-made numerical solution method for the latter.
  • Phytoplankton, Ocean and Climate, addressing changes in vertical stratification and its impact on phytoplankton communities including field experiments and simulation of hydrodynamics and plankton dynamics.
  • Vegetation patterns, addressing mathematical modelling of desertification in arid reagions. A system of reaction-diffusion equations predicts whether a given vegetation pattern will remain stable or desertify depending on available water.

CWI research groups thematically affiliated with the earth sciences
Numerics and Dynamics, Computing and Control, Multiscale Modelling

Project leaders
Daan Crommelin, Arjen Doelman, Ute Ebert, Jason Frank, Barry Koren, Ben Sommeijer