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Wenxia Zhang
Department of Oceanography
Dalhousie University
1355 Oxford Street
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2

Room 2621 LSC
Phone +1 (902) 494 3655
Fax +1 (902) 494 3877


PhD — Physical Oceanography, Texas A&M University, Texas, USA

BSc — Physical Oceanography, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China

My Research Interests

River plumes are a ubiquitous feature of coastal ocean flow; they are regions of strong gradients in both physical tracers and biological properties. The Mississippi River system, providing huge amounts of fresh water discharge and nutrient loading, generates large plumes. The wind over Texas-Louisiana shelf changes seasonally with weak, upwelling favorable in summer season (June - August) and stronger, downwelling favorable during the other time of the year (September - May). This seasonal wind with a strong contribution from buoyancy forcing near the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers drives the low-frequency circulation on the Texas-Louisiana shelf. The large flux of nutrients leads to eutrophication within the Mississippi/Atchafalaya plume; combined with freshwater discharge, hypoxic conditions form in the near-bottom waters over the mid-shelf.

My works are focused on numerical simulation of flow in continental shelf, coastal and estuarine environments; applications include processes controlling bottom boundary layer dynamics, impact of bottom boundary layer dynamics on interior physical and biogeochemical processes such as formation and destruction of continental shelf hypoxia and hypoxic water distribution dynamics over the shelf. I am also involved in the Mechanisms Controlling Hypoxia (MCH) project, have fieldwork experiences and have been analyzing observed data. MCH project is a program aim to investigate the processes that control and maintain the hypoxic zone over Texas-Louisiana shelf; the hydrographic data obtained during field cruises cover entire Texas-Louisiana shelf mostly within 50m isobath and make the mechanisms more approachable. I am comfortable and confident working on field works and observations.