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Raymond W. Schmitt

Education:  B.Sc.  (Physics), Carnegie-Mellon University, 1972;   Ph.D.  (Oceanography), University of Rhode Island, 1978.

Employment:  Research Associate, 1977-78, University of Rhode Island.   Postdoctoral Fellow, 1978-79; Postdoctoral Investigator, 1979-80; Assistant Scientist, 1980-84; Associate Scientist, 1984-1994; tenure awarded, 1988, Senior Scientist, 1994-present, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Visiting Scientist, CSIRO Division of Oceanography, Hobart, Tasmania, 10/1987-03/1988. 

Visiting Fellow, Dept. Applied Math & Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, U.K., 9/1997-4/1998.

Award: J. S. Guggenheim Fellowship, 1997-1998

Community Service: NSF review panels for Ocean Sciences (1992) and Polar Programs (1991, 1993); Atlantic Climate Change Program Science Working Group, 1991-1995; Ocean Observing System Development Panel,1991-1996; CLIVAR Science Steering Group 1996-1999 SCOR Working Group 108 on Double-Diffusive Convection, 1996-2002 Invited Lecturer: Geophysical and Environmental Fluid Mechanics Summer School, Dept. Applied Math and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, September 2002; Editorial Board, Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 2004-2007;NAS/NRC Ocean Studies Board, 2005-2007.

Field Work: Participation in 21 research cruises, 9 as Chief or Co-Chief Scientist.

Research Interests: Oceanic mixing and microstructure; double diffusive convection; relationships between small-scale mixing processes and meso- and large-scale temperature and salinity distributions; the thermohaline circulation of the ocean; the global water cycle; development of oceanographic instrumentation.



Publications :

Schmitt, R., W., and D. L. Evans, 1978. An estimate of the vertical mixing due to salt fingers based on observations in the North Atlantic Central Water. Journal of Geophysical Research, 83, 2913-2919.

Schmitt, R. W., and R. B. Lambert, 1979. The effects of rotation on salt fingers. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 90, part 3, 449-463.

Schmitt, R. W., 1979. The growth rate of super-critical salt fingers. Deep-Sea Research, 26A, 23-40.

Schmitt, R. W., 1979. Flux measurements on salt fingers at an interface. Journal of Marine Research, 37, 419-436.

Schmitt, R. W., 1981. Form of the temperature-salinity relationship in the Central Water: Evidence for double-diffusive mixing. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 11, 1015-1026.

Schmitt, R. W., and D. T. Georgi, 1982. Finestructure and microstructure in the North Atlantic Current. Journal of Marine Research, Supplement to 40, 659-705.

Gargett, A. E., and R. W.  Schmitt, 1982. Observations of salt fingers in the central waters of the eastern North Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research, 87(C10), 8017-8029.

Georgi, D. T., and R. W. Schmitt, 1983. Fine-and microstructure observations on a hydrographic section from the Azores to the Flemish Cap. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 13(4), 632-647.

Schmitt, R. W., 1983. The characteristics of salt fingers in a variety of fluid systems, including stellar interiors, liquid metals, oceans and magmas. Physics of Fluids, 26(9), 2373-2377.

Joyce, T. M., R. W. Schmitt, and M. C. Stalcup, 1983. Influence of the Gulf Stream upon the short term evolution of a warm core ring. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 34, 515-524.

Joyce, T., R. Backus, K. Baker, P. Blackwelder, Otis Brown, Timothy Cowles, Robert Evans, Greta Fryxell, D. Mountain, D. Olson, R. Schlitz, R. Schmitt, Peter Smith, R. Smith and Peter Wiebe, 1984. Rapid evolution of a Gulf Stream Warm Core Ring. Nature, 308, 837-840.

Olson, D. B., R. W. Schmitt, M. Kennelly, and T. M. Joyce, 1985. A two-layer diagnostic model of the long term physical evolution of Warm Core Ring 82B. Journal of Geophysical Research, 90, 8813-8822.

Schmitt, R. W., and D. B. Olson, 1985. Wintertime convection in warm core rings: thermocline ventilation and the formation of mesoscale lenses. Journal of Geophysical Research, 90, 8823-8837.

Schmitt, R., W., R. G. Lueck, and T. M. Joyce, 1986. Fine-and microstructure at the edge of a warm core ring. Deep-Sea Research, 33, 1665-1689.

Toole, J. M., and R. W. Schmitt, 1987. Small-scale structures in the north-west Atlantic subtropical front. Nature, 327, 47-49.

Schmitt, R. W., H. Perkins, J. D. Boyd, and M. C. Stalcup, 1987. C-SALT: An investigation of the thermohaline staircase in the western tropical North Atlantic. Deep-Sea Research, 34(10A), 1655-1665.

Kunze, E., A. J. Williams, and R. W. Schmitt, 1987. Optical microstructure in the thermohaline staircase east of Barbados. Deep-Sea Research, 34(10A), 1697-1704.

Schmitt, R. W., 1987. The Caribbean Sheets and Layers Transects (C-SALT) Program. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 68, 57-60.

Schmitt, R. W., J. M. Toole, R. L. Koehler, E. C. Mellinger, and K.W.Doherty, 1988. The development of a fine- and microstructure profiler. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 5(4), 484-500.

Schmitt, R. W., 1988. Mixing in a thermohaline staircase. In: Small-Scale Turbulence and Mixing in the Ocean, editors, J. C. J. Nihoul and B. M. Jamart, Elsevier, Amsterdam; pp 435-452.

Schmitt, R. W., P. S. Bogden and C. E. Dorman, 1989. Evaporation minus precipitation and density fluxes for the North Atlantic. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 10(9), 1210-1221.

Schmitt, R. W., 1990. On the density ratio balance in the central water. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 20(6), 900-906.

Weller, R. A., D. L. Rudnick, C. C. Eriksen, K. L. Polzin, N. S. Oakey, J. M. Toole, R. W. Schmitt, and R. T. Pollard, 1991. Forced ocean response during the Frontal Air-Sea Interaction Experiment. Journal of Geophysical Research, 96(C5), 8611-8638.

Halliwell, G. R., Jr., P. Cornillon, K. H. Brink, R. T. Pollard, D. L. Evans, L. A. Reiger, J. M. Toole, and R. W. Schmitt, 1991. Descriptive oceanography during the Frontal Air-Sea Interaction Experiment: Medium- to large-scale variability. Journal of Geophysical Research, 96(C5), 8553-8567.

Wijffels, S. E., R. W. Schmitt, H. L. Bryden, and A. Stigebrandt, 1992. Transport of freshwater by the oceans. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 22(2), 155-162.

Schmitt, R. W., 1992. Mysteries of Planetary Plumbing. Oceanus, 35 (2), 38-45

Schmitt, R. W. and S. E. Wijffels, 1993. The role of the oceans in the global water cycle. The Legacy of Hann: Geophysical Monograph Series 75, (American Geophysical Union) IUGG, 15, 77-84.

Huang, R. X. and R. W. Schmitt, 1993. The Goldsbrough-Stommel circulation of the world oceans. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 23(6), 1277-1284.

Schmitz, W. J., Jr., J. R. Luyten and R. W. Schmitt, 1993. On the Florida Current T/S envelope. Bulletin of Marine Science of the Gulf and Caribbean, 53(1), 1048-1065.

Schmitt, R. W., 1994. Double Diffusion in Oceanography. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 26, 255-285.

Toole, J. M., K. L. Polzin, and R. W. Schmitt, 1994. Estimates of diapycnal mixing in the abyssal ocean. Science, 264, 1120-1123.

Schmitt, R. W., 1994. Triangular and asymmetric salt fingers. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 24 (4), 855-860.

Schmitt, R. W., 1995. The salt finger experiments of Jevons (1857) and Rayleigh (1880). Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (1), 8-17.

Polzin, K., J. M. Toole, and R. W. Schmitt, 1995. Finescale parameterizations of turbulent dissipation. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (3), 306-328.

Schmitt, R. W., 1995. The Ocean's Salt Fingers. Scientific American, 272 (5), 70-75.

Kunze, E., R. W. Schmitt, and J. M. Toole, 1995. The energy balance in a warm-core ring's near-inertial critical layer. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (5), 942-957.

Schmitt, R. W., E. T. Montgomery, and J. M. Toole, 1995. A free-vehicle explores deep-sea mixing. Oceanus, 38 (1), 21-25.

You, Y., T. J. McDougall and R. W. Schmitt, 1995. Dianeutral motion, water-mass conversion and non-linear effects on the density ratio in the Pacific thermocline. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (8), 1891-1904.

Schmitt, R. W., 1995. The ocean component of the global water cycle. (U.S. National Report to the IUGG), Reviews of Geophysics, 33 (Supplement, Pt. 2), 1395-1409.

Schmitt, R. W., 1995. Why didn't Rayleigh discover salt fingers? in: Double-Diffusive Convection. A. Brandt and H. Fernando, Ed., AGU Geophysical Monograph 94, 3-10.

Shen, C. Y., and R. W. Schmitt, 1995. The salt finger wavenumber spectrum. in: Double-Diffusive Convection. A. Brandt and H. Fernando, Ed., AGU Geophysical Monograph 94, 305-312.

Smith, N. R. , G. T. Needler and the Ocean Observing System Development Panel, 1995. An Ocean Observing System for Climate: The Conceptual Design. in: Long-Term Climate Monitoring by the Global Climate Observing System. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 345-364. Also in: Climatic Change, 31, 475-494.

Polzin, K. L., N.S. Oakey, J. M. Toole and R. W. Schmitt, 1996. Fine- and microstructure characteristics across the northwest Atlantic subtropical front. Journal of Geophysical Research, 101 (C6), 14111-14121.

Renardy, Y. Y., and R. W. Schmitt, 1996. Linear stability analysis of salt fingers with surface evaporation or warming. Physics of Fluids, 8, (11), 2855-2867.

Polzin, K, K. Speer, J. Toole and R. Schmitt, 1996. Intense mixing of Antarctic Bottom Water in the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Nature, 380, (6569), 54-57.

Nowlin, W., N. Smith, G. Needler, P. Taylor, R. Weller, R. Schmitt, L. Merlivat, A. Vezina, A. Alexiou, M. McPhaden, M. Wakatsuchi, 1996. An Ocean Observing System for Climate, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 77 (10), 2243-2273.

Schmitt, R. W., 1996.  If rain falls on the ocean, does it make a sound?  Oceanus, 39 (2), 4-8.

Toole, J. M., R. W. Schmitt, K. L. Polzin, and E. Kunze, 1997. Fine- and microstructure evidence of boundary mixing above the flanks of a mid-latitude seamount. Journal of Geophysical Research, 102, (C1), 847-959.

Polzin, K. L., J. M. Toole, J. R. Ledwell and R. W. Schmitt, 1997.  Spatial variability of turbulent mixing in the abyssal ocean.  Science, 276, 93-96.

Montgomery, E. T. and R. W. Schmitt, 1997.  Altimetric control of a free vehicle for near-bottom turbulence measurements.  Deep-Sea Reseach,44, 6, 1077-1084.

Zhang, J., R. W. Schmitt, and R. X. Huang, 1998.  Sensitivity of the GFDL Modular Ocean Model to the parameterization of double-diffusive
processes.  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 28, 4, 589-605.

Schmitt, R. W., 1998.  The ocean's response to the freshwater cycle.  (Chapter in:) Global Energy and Water Cycles,  Edited by K. Browning and R. Gurney, Cambridge University Press.  144-154.

Schmitt, R. W., 1998.  Double-diffusive convection: Its role in ocean mixing and parameterization schemes for large scale modeling.  (Chapter in:) Ocean Modeling and Parameterization,  Edited by E. Chassignet and J. Verron, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 215-234.

Schmitt, R. W., 1999.  Spice and the Demon.  Science, 283 (5401), 498-499.

Molinari, R. L., S. Garzoli, and R. W. Schmitt, 1999.  Equatorial Currents at 1000m depth in the Atlantic Ocean.  Geophysical Research Letters, 26, (3),361-363.

Zhang, J., R. W. Schmitt, and R. X. Huang, 1999.  The relative influence of diapycnal mixing and hydrologic forcing on the stability of the thermohaline circulation.  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29, (6), 1096-1108.

 St. Laurent, L. and R. W. Schmitt, 1999. The contribution of salt fingers to vertical mixing in the North Atlantic Tracer Release Experiment. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29, (7), 1404-1424.

 Zhang, J. and R. W. Schmitt, 2000.  The impact of salt fingering on the thermohaline circulation under mixed boundary conditions.  Journal of Physical Oceanography, in press.

Ledwell, J. L., E. T. Montgomery, K. L. Polzin, L. C. St. Laurent, R. W. Schmitt and J. M. Toole, 2000.
Evidence for enhanced mixing over rough topography in the abyssal ocean. Nature, 403, (6766) 179--182.

Schmitt, R. W., and E. T. Montgomery, 2000. Salinity, a missing piece in the climate puzzle. Backscatter, 11(3), 10-16.

Schmitt, R. W., and J. R. Ledwell, 2001. Dispersion and diffusion in the deep ocean. In: Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, John H. Steele, Steve A. Thorpe, and Karl K. Turekian, Editors, Academic Press, San Diego; Vol. 2, pp. 726-733.

Schmitt, R. W., 2001. Double-diffusive convection. In: Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, John H. Steele, Steve A. Thorpe, and Karl K. Turekian, Editors, Academic Press, San Diego; Vol. 2, pp. 757-766.

St. Laurent, Louis C., John M. Toole, and Raymond W. Schmitt, 2001. Buoyancy forcing by tur-bulence above rough topography in the abyssal Brazil Basin. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 31, 3476-3495.

Polzin, K. L., E. Kunze, J. M. Toole, and R. W. Schmitt, 2003. The partitioning of finescale energy into internal waves and vortices: Implications for horizontal mixing. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 33, 234-248.

Schmitt, R. W., 2003. Observational and laboratory insights into salt finger convection. Progress in Oceanography, 56(3-4), 419-433.

Holbrook, W. S., P. Páramo, S. Pearse, and R. W. Schmitt, 2003. Thermohaline finestructure in an oceanographic front from seismic reflection profiling. Science, 301(5634), 821?824.

Lavery, A. C., R. W. Schmitt and T. K. Stanton, 2004. High-frequency acoustic scattering from turbulent oceanic microstructure: The importance of density fluctuations. Journal of The Acoustical Society of America, 114(5), 2685?2697.

Hu, C., E. Montgomery, R. Schmitt, F. Muller-Karger, 2004. The Amazon and Orinoco River plumes in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean Sea: Observation from space and S-PALACE floats. Deep Sea Research Part II : topics in Oceanography. 51 (10-11)1151-1171.

Nash, J. D. E. Kunze, J. M. Toole, and R. W. Schmitt, 2004. Internal tide reflection and turbulent mixing on the continental slope. Journal of Physical Oceanography 34, (5), 1117-1134.

Nandi, Papia, W. Steven Holbrook, Scott Pearse, Pedro Páramo, Raymond W.  Schmitt, 2004. Seismic reflection imaging of water mass boundaries in the Norwegian Sea. Geophysical Research Letters31, (23), L23311, 10.1029/2004GL021325 .

Schmitt, R. W., R. C. Millard, J. M. Toole, W. D. Wellwood, 2005.  A Double-Diffusive Interface Tank for Dynamic Response Studies.  Journal of Marine Research, 63 (1) 263-289.

Schmitt, R. W., J. R. Ledwell, E. T. Montgomery K. L. Polzin, and J. M. Toole,  2005.  Enhanced Diapycnal Mixing by Salt Fingers in the Thermocline of the Tropical Atlantic.  Science, 308 (5722), 685-688.


Non-refereed Publications
Schmitt, Raymond, W., Jr., 1978. Time dependent and rotational effects in salt finger convection. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Rhode Island.

Georgi, D. T., R. C. Millard, Jr., and R. W. Schmitt, 1983. Conductivity microstructure measurements with a CTD. In: Proceedings, Third Working Symposium on Oceanographic Data Systems, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, October 2-4, 1983; C. D. Tollios, M. K. McElroy and J. Syck, editors; IEEE Computer Society and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, pp. 5-14.

Converse, C. H., A. J. Williams, 3rd, P. D. Fucile and R. W. Schmitt, 1986. A free ocean vehicle to measure optical microstructure. In: Current Practices and New Technology in Ocean Engineering - OED, Vol. 11; T. McGuinness and H. H. Shih, editors; The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, pp. 341-345.

Schmitt, R. W., K. L. Polzin and J. M. Toole, 1989. Shear and salt fingers. In: Parameterization of Small-Scale Processes, Proceedings, 'Aha Huliko'a, Hawaiian Winter Workshop, University of Hawaii at Manoa, January 17-20, 1989}; Hawaii Institute of Geophysics Special Publication, Peter Müller and Diane Henderson, editors; University of Hawaii, Honolulu; pp. 127-144.

Schmitt, Raymond W., 1992. Mysteries of planetary plumbing. Oceanus, 35(2), 38-45.

Schmitt, R. W., 1993. Macelwane Citation for Eric Kunze. Eos, Transactions, American Geo-physical Union, 74(26), 283.

Schmitt, R. W., 1993. The role of the ocean in the global water cycle. In: Workshop on WOCE Data Assimilation. WOCE Report No. 102/93, p. 10.

Schmitt, R. W., E. T. Montgomery and J. M. Toole, 1995. A free-vehicle explores deep-sea mixing. Oceanus, 38(1), 21-25.

Schmitt, Raymond W., 1995. The ocean's salt fingers. Scientific American, 272(5), 70-75.

Polzin, K. L., K. G. Speer, J. M. Toole, and R. W. Schmitt, 1996. Intense mixing of Antarctic Bottom Water in the Romanche Fracture Zone. International WOCE Newsletter, 19, 20-23.

Schmitt, R. W., 1996. If rain falls on the ocean - does it make a sound? Oceanus, 39(2), 4-8.

Schmitt, R. W., 1997. New approaches to the salinity problem. CLIVAR Exchanges, 2(1), 4-6.

Toole, J. M., J. R. Ledwell, K. L. Polzin, R. W. Schmitt, E. T. Montgomery, L. St. Laurent, and W. B. Owens, 1997. Brazil Basin Tracer Release Experiment. International WOCE Newsletter, No. 28, 25-28.

Schmitt, R. W., J. M. Toole, K. L. Polzin and J. R. Ledwell, 1998. Large-scale patterns of turbulent vertical mixing in the Brazil Basin: implications for the Abyssal circulation. European Geophysical Society, Annales Geophysicae, 16, (Suppl. II, Part II), p. C545.

McDougall, T. J. , R. W. Schmitt, G. Veronis, F. Webster, 2005.  The life and work of Nick Fofonoff.  Journal of Marine Research, 63 (1), 1-7.