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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Nov. 15: Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series

Jay Austin to address: "Near-Inertial oscillations in Lake Superior"

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 11-14-2012

Jay Austin, a faculty member from the Large Lake Observatory/Department of Physics at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, will address "Near-Inertial oscillations in Lake Superior" in a campus lecture on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. in Trafton C123.

Austin's lecture is sponsored by the Clint Crosby/Lockheed Martin Physics and Astronomy Seminar Series.

Because of the size of the room in which it will take place, the lecture is limited to the first 60 guests.

Those interested in more information should contact Russell Palma, seminar coordinator, by phone at 507-389-6204 or by email at

Following is an abstract of Austin's lecture:

Near Inertial oscillations, which are due to the propagation of Poincare’ waves (rotationally modified gravity waves) dominate the kinetic energy field in Lake Superior during stratified periods, resulting in near-surface velocities of up to 0.4m/s and velocities near the bottom in excess of 0.1m/s. These waves propagate along the density interface between warm surface waters and cooler bottom waters. Data from several sites suggest that the direction of propagation of the wave field appears to rotate counter-clockwise around the lake with a period of approximately one month. In this talk, we will discuss the nature of these waves, the role that density stratification plays, the equipment we use to measure velocity and temperature structure in lakes, and some of the potential ecological implications of the wave field.

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