Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Dr. Andrew Dale

Department / group: Physics and Technology / Dynamic Oceans Theme, Modelling Group
Personal URL: Not available

Research interests:

As a physical oceanographer I like to combine observational and modelling approaches to understanding the ocean. My research interests lie at relatively small scales, working to understand how physical processes (internal waves, gravity currents, eddies and turbulence) affect the larger scale in environments as diverse as the deep ocean and the coastal waters of western Scotland.

Career history:


Lecturer/Principal Investigator in Numerical Modelling, SAMS


Research Associate at Oregon State University studying the coastal physics of the Oregon upwelling system from a Lagrangian perspective via a series of dye tracer-release experiments


Postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University with Jack Barth investigating the dynamics of a coastal upwelling jet.

Active research projects:

Mixing in the deep ocean

Mixing in the deep ocean is a crucial component of the global overturning circulation which determines how the ocean stores and redistributes heat. Tides contribute significantly to this mixing, largely through the interaction between tidal currents and the complex topography of mid-ocean ridges. Tidal energy is both radiated from mid-ocean ridges as internal waves and dissipated by local mixing. While the radiated component is relatively well-studied, the local mixing processes are less-so. Observations from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are revealing the fascinating physics involved, including tidally-pulsed bores, lee waves and hydraulic flows.

The coastal environment of Western Scotland

Western Scotland has a convoluted coastline of islands, sea lochs and narrow, highly-tidal straits. The complexity of coastal waters is compounded by patchy and variable freshwater run-off from land, and winds that are steered by steep coastal topography. When looking at the regional scale, energetic small-scale features cannot be dismissed. Tidal straits, for example, provide biological connections and important sources of mixing and eddies. Accurate numerical models of this region would be of great benefit to coastal managers, but it is crucial that such models represent the effects of small-scale processes in their wider context.



-ASIMUTH (Adaptive grid model to simulate transport and development of harmful algal blooms around Argyll) (


Recent publications:

Porter, M., Inall, M.E., Green, J.A.M., Simpson, J.H., Dale, A.C. and Miller, P.I., 2016. Drifter observations in the summer time bay of Biscay slope current. Journal of Marine Systems.

Cross, J., Dale, A. and Hosegood, P., 2015, April. A Lagrangian study of the influence of a canyon on an alongslope current. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 17, p. 10722).

Benjamins, S., DALE, A.C., Hastie, G., Waggitt, J.J., Lea, M.A., Scott, B. and Wilson, B., 2015. Confusion reigns? A review of marine megafauna interactions with tidal-stream environments. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, 53, pp.1-54.

Dale, A.C. and Inall, M.E., 2015. Tidal mixing processes amid small‐scale, deep‐ocean topography. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(2), pp.484-491.

Dale, A., Cross, J., Hosegood, P. and Inall, M., 2014, May. Recruitment to the Ekman drain from the shelf edge to the west of Scotland. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 16, p. 15186).

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