Collaborative Research: Resolving complex coastal flows via advances in high-frequency radar

Award Period: 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 to Sunday, February 28, 2021

Award Amount: 

$551 879

Agency Name: 

National Science Foundation

Award Number: 


PI First Name: 


PI last name: 



Brian Emery

MSI Person: 

Area/s of Research: 


Coastal oceanography aims to understand and quantify complex coastal flows that transport momentum, heat, salt, nutrients, and other waterborne materials such as plankton and sediment along and across continental shelves. The rapid evolution of these flows over a wide range of spatial scales makes them challenging to observe. Oceanographic HF radar is an important approach for observing these flows through persistent measurement of surface currents over large areas of the coastal ocean. While HF radar is capable of resolving scales of surface currents essential for understanding the dynamics of larger scale transport processes, the present state of HF radar techniques constrains the accuracy and resolution of surface current observations in regions of higher complexity, thus limiting understanding of the full range of dynamics present. The overarching goal of this proposal is to advance knowledge of complex coastal  dynamics by improving surface current observations from oceanographic radars. These improvements will increase the value of HF radar observations for basic research of the coastal ocean and for operational applications directly benefiting society.