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Andrey Shcherbina

Principal Oceanographer

Affiliate Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering





Department Affiliation

Ocean Physics


M.S. Physical Oceanography, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, 1998

Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2004

Andrey Shcherbina's Website



Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study — SPURS

The NASA SPURS research effort is actively addressing the essential role of the ocean in the global water cycle by measuring salinity and accumulating other data to improve our basic understanding of the ocean's water cycle and its ties to climate.

15 Apr 2015

Lateral Mixing

Small scale eddies and internal waves in the ocean mix water masses laterally, as well as vertically. This multi-investigator project aims to study the physics of this mixing by combining dye dispersion studies with detailed measurements of the velocity, temperature and salinity field during field experiments in 2011 and 2012.

1 Sep 2012

APL-UW Involvement in the Coastal Margin Observation and Prediction Science and Technology Center (CMOP)

AUVs will be deployed by a newly formed APL-UW AUV group as part of CMOP's experimental observation network which consists of multiple fixed and mobile platforms equipped with oceanographic sensors.

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15 Jun 2012

The Center for Coastal Margin Observation and Predication (CMOP) has purchased from Hydroid, LLC two Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) for its studies. The REMUS (Remote Environmental Measuring Units) 100 (see Figure 1) is a compact, light-weight, AUV designed for operation in coastal environments up to 100 meters in depth. The AUVs will be deployed by a newly formed APL-UW AUV group as part of CMOP's experimental observation network which consists of multiple fixed and mobile platforms equipped with oceanographic sensors. The AUVs will be used, primarily, to study the Columbia River plume and estuary region. The AUVs will be deployed periodically throughout each operational year. We also plan to allow customization of the AUVs by integrating novel biogeochemical sensors to meet specific scientific objectives for the CMOP program.

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

Restratification at a California Current upwelling front. Part I: Observations

Johnson, L., C.M. Lee, E.A. D'Asaro, L. Thomas, and A. Shcherbina, "Restratification at a California Current upwelling front. Part I: Observations," J. Phys. Oceanogr., 50, 14-55-1472, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-19-0203.1, 2020.

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6 May 2020

A coordinated survey between a subsurface Lagrangian float and a ship-towed Triaxus profiler obtained detailed measurements of a restratifying surface intensified front (above 30 m) within the California Current System. The survey began as downfront winds incited mixing in the boundary layer. As winds relaxed and mixing subsided, the system entered a different dynamical regime as the front developed an overturning circulation with large vertical velocities that tilted isopycnals and stratified the upper ocean within a day. The horizontal buoyancy gradient was 1.5 x 10-6 s-2 and associated with vorticity, divergence, and strain that approached the Coriolis frequency. Estimates of vertical velocity from the Lagrangian float reached 1.2 x 10-3 m s-1. These horizontal gradients and vertical velocities were consistent with submesoscale dynamics that are distinct from the classic quasigeostrophic framework used to describe larger-scale flows. Vertical and horizontal gradients of velocity and buoyancy in the vicinity of the float revealed that sheared currents differentially advected the horizontal buoyancy gradient to increase vertical stratification. This was supported by analyses of temperature and salinity gradients that composed the horizontal and vertical stratification. Potential vorticity was conserved during restratification at 16 m, consistent with adiabatic processes. Conversely, potential vorticity near the surface (8 m) increased, highlighting the role of friction in modulating near-surface stratification. The observed increase in stratification due to these submesoscale processes was equivalent to a heat flux of 2000 W m-2, which is an order-of-magnitude larger than the average observed surface heat flux of 100 W m-2.

Novel and flexible approach to access the open ocean: Uses of sailing research vessel Lady Amber during SPURS-2

Rainville, L., L.R. Centurioni, W.E. Asher, C.A. Clayson, K. Drushka, J.B. Edson, B.A. Hodges, V. Hormann, J.T. Farai, J.J. Schanze, and A.Y. Shcherbina, "Novel and flexible approach to access the open ocean: Uses of sailing research vessel Lady Amber during SPURS-2," Oceanography, 32, 116-121, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2019.219, 2019.

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14 Jun 2019

SPURS-2 (Salinity Processes in the Upper-ocean Regional Study 2) used the schooner Lady Amber, a small sailing research vessel, to deploy, service, maintain, and recover a variety of oceanographic and meteorological instruments in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Low operational costs allowed us to frequently deploy floats and drifters to collect data necessary for resolving the regional circulation of the eastern tropical Pacific. The small charter gave us the opportunity to deploy drifters in locations chosen according to current conditions, to recover and deploy various autonomous instruments in a targeted and adaptive manner, and to collect additional near-surface and atmospheric measurements in the remote SPURS-2 region.

Rain and sun create slippery layers in the Eastern Pacific Fresh Pool

Shcherbina, A.Y., E.A. D'Asaro, and R.R. Harcourt, "Rain and sun create slippery layers in the Eastern Pacific Fresh Pool," Oceanography, 32, 98-107, doi:10.5670/oceanog.2019.217, 2019.

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14 Jun 2019

An autonomous Lagrangian float equipped with a high-resolution acoustic Doppler current profiler observed the evolution of upper-ocean stratification and velocity in the Eastern Pacific Fresh Pool for over 100 days in August–November 2016. Although convective mixing homogenized the water column to 40 m depth almost every night, the combination of diurnal warming on clear days and rainfall on cloudy days routinely produced strong stratification in the upper 10 m. Whether due to thermal or freshwater effects, the initial strong stratification was mixed downward and incorporated in the bulk of the mixed layer within a few hours. Stratification cycling was associated with pronounced variability of ocean surface boundary layer turbulence and vertical shear of wind-driven (Ekman) currents. Decoupled from the bulk of the mixed layer by strong stratification, warm and fresh near-surface waters were rapidly accelerated by wind, producing the well-known "slippery layer" effect, and leading to a strong downwind near-surface distortion of the Ekman profile. A case study illustrates the ability of the new generation of Lagrangian floats to measure rapidly evolving temperature, salinity, and velocity, including turbulent and internal wave components. Quantitative interpretation of the results remains a challenge, which can be addressed with high-resolution numerical modeling, given sufficiently accurate air-sea fluxes.

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Open Water Detection from Beneath Sea Ice

Record of Invention Number: 47655

Eric D'Asaro, Andrey Shcherbina


16 Mar 2016

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center