Rich Pawlowicz

Physical Oceanography
Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC

Phone: 604-822-1356



Research area(s):

Area of Expertise:

Rich Pawlowicz is a physical oceanographer whose field research occurs primarily in the coastal waters and inland lakes of British Columbia. His research includes both fundamental and applied questions. Fundamental research has included investigations of the propagation and interaction of large internal waves in the Strait of Georgia, investigations of shear instabilities in the Fraser river salt wedge, and a project investigating double- diffusive convection in Powell Lake. In addition, he is interested in developing a theoretical understanding of the factors affecting electrical conductivity in natural waters, and in using this understanding to develop better procedures for determining the salt content of fresh and salt waters by measuring their electrical conductivity. This may lead to better estimates of the physical properties of seawater in coastal areas.

Applied questions that are currently being pursued include development of techniques for long-term monitoring of fish and zooplankton using multi-frequency acoustics (using equipment that is part of the NEPTUNE observatory), and determining the degree to which large-scale transport mechanisms provide a physical control on biological productivity in fjord systems (with a long-standing interest in the Strait of Georgia, as well as past projects in Rivers Inlet and in inlets on the West Coast of Vancouver Island). In his work in the Strait of Georgia, he has developed and used monitoring systems mounted on BC ferries, but is currently involved in a project attempting to understand the near-surface circulation and variability in the Strait using observations from ferry instrumentation mounted by the VENUS observatory.

Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):

Dewey, Richard; Pawlowicz, Rich; Morley, Mike; and Wang, Manman, “Salish Sea surface currents: real-time velocities from HF radar” (2018). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. 581.

L. Li., R. Pawlowicz, and C. Wang, 2018. Seasonal Variability and Generation Mechanisms of Nonlinear Internal Waves in the Strait of Georgia, J. Geophys. Res., 21pp.

R. Pawlowicz, R. Di Costanzo, M. Halverson, E. Devred & S. Johannessen (2017) Advection, Surface Area, and Sediment Load of the Fraser River Plume Under Variable Wind and River Forcing, Atmosphere-Ocean, 55:4-5, 293-313, DOI: 10.1080/07055900.2017.1389689

R. Pawlowicz (2017) Seasonal Cycles, Hypoxia, and Renewal in a Coastal Fjord (Barkley Sound, British Columbia), Atmosphere-Ocean, 55:4-5, 264-283, DOI: 10.1080/07055900.2017.1374240

C. Wang & R. Pawlowicz, 2017. Internal wave generation from tidal flow exiting a constricted opening. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 122:110–125.

M. Halverson, R. Pawlowicz, C. Chavanne 2017. Dependence of 25-MHz HF Radar Working Range on Near-Surface Conductivity, Sea State, and Tides. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 34:447-462.

M. Wolfe, S.E.. Allen, M. Hodal, R. Pawlowicz, B.P.V. Hunt, D. Tommasi 2016. Impact of advection loss due to wind and estuarine circulation on the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom in a fjord. ICES JOURNAL OF MARINE SCIENCE. 73:1589-1609.

M. Halverson & R. Pawlowicz (2016) Tide, Wind, and River Forcing of the Surface Currents in the Fraser River Plume, Atmosphere-Ocean, 54:2, 131-152, DOI: 10.1080/07055900.2016.1138927

A.G. Dickson, M.F. Camoes, P. Spitzer, P. Fisicaro, D. Stoica, R. Pawlowicz, R. Feistel. 2016. Metrological challenges for measurements of key climatological observables. Part 3: Seawater pH. METROLOGIA. 53:R26-R39.

Halverson, Mark; and Pawlowicz, Rich;”Horizontal circulation in the Strait of Georgia” (2016). Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.16.

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