and Mathematical Sciences
phone (home) 61 2 6255 6023
Robertson collected XBT and CTD profiles on the AnSlope III field program in
Internal Tides and Waves
Barotropic and baroclinic (internal) tides have been simulated for various regions of the world using a primitive equation, sigma-coordinate model, the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS).
I am interested in applying the model to different regions and investigating the internal tidal fields there. If you have a region of interest that you would like to collaborate with me on, please contact me.
Sensitivity study for Fieberling Guyot using ROMS
Future Directions: My internal tide research continues in applying the model to different regions, performing higher resolution simulations on regions of interest, interpreting the model results to estimates of circulation and mixing, and in improving the simulations and model performance. I am also collaborating with Bruno Tremblay of McGill University on sea ice applications of ROMS and with Xiaojun Yuan of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Bruno Tremblay on investigating the effects of katabatic winds on sea ice, polynyas, and deep water formation.
Students and Post-docs Opportunities: If you are a graduate student or post-doc interested in pursuing research in any of these areas, please contact Dr. Robertson. Funding may be possible for qualified students.
1. Robertson, R., Modeling Baroclinic Tides: Resolution, Parameterization, and Performance , Ocean. Dynamics, doi 10.1007/s10236-006-0062-5, 2006.
2. Robertson, R. and A. Ffield, M2 baroclinic tides in the Indonesian Seas, Oceanography, 18, 62-73, 2005.
A. and R. Robertson,
4. Robertson, R., Profile of Robin Robertson: Women in Oceanography,Oceanography, 18, 200, 2005.
5. Robertson, R., Barotropic and baroclinic tides in the Weddell Sea, Antarctic Science, 17, 461-474, 2005.
6. Robertson, R., Barotropic and Baroclinic tides in the Ross Sea, Antarctic Science, 17, 107-120, 2005.
7. Robertson, R., A. Beckmann, and H. Hellmer, M2 Tidal dynamics in the Ross Sea, Antarctic Science, 15, 41-46, 2003.
8. Robertson, R., M. Visbeck, A. L. Gordon, and E. Fahrbach, Long term temperature trends in the deep waters of the Weddell Sea, Deep-Sea Research, 49, 4791-4806, 2002.
9. Robertson, R., Internal tides and baroclinicity in the southern Weddell Sea: Part I: Model description, and comparison of model results to observations , J. Geophys. Res., 106, 27,001-27,016 2001a.
10. Robertson, R., Internal tides and baroclinicity in the southern Weddell Sea: Part II: Effects of the critical latitude and stratification , J. Geophys. Res., 106, 27,017-27,034, 2001b.
R., L. Padman, and M. D. Levine, A correction to the
baroclinic pressure gradient term in the Princeton Ocean Model ,
R., Mixing and heat transport mechanisms for the upper
water column in the Weddell Sea, Ph.D. Dissertation,
13. Robertson, R., L. Padman, and G. D. Egbert, Tides in the Weddell Sea, in Ocean, Ice, and Atmosphere: Interactions at the Antarctic Continental Margin, Antarctic Research Series, 75, 341-369, 1998.
14. Padman, L.,
R. Robertson, and K. Nicholls, Modeling tides in the southern Weddell Sea:
Updated model with new bathymetry from ROPEX , Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf
Programme Report No. 12, Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine
15. Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. D. Levine, Fine structure, microstructure, and vertical mixing processes in the upper ocean in the western Weddell Sea , J. Geophys. Res., 100, 18517-18535, 1995.
16. Robertson, R. and M. Spaulding, A three-dimensional numerical dispersion model for acid-iron waste disposal, in Wastes in the Ocean: Volume 5: Deep sea waste disposal, Wiley Interscience, D. R. Kester, P. K. Park, P. H. Ketchum, and I. W. Duedall (eds.), 125-145, 1985.
R. A Monte Carlo model of particle dispersion due to wave motion, M. S. Thesis,
Department of Ocean Engineering,
1. Robertson, R., Baroclinic tides in the
Weddell Sea, SCAR meeting, 12-14 July, 2006,
2. Robertson, R., and A. Ffield, Internal
Tides in the
3. Robertson, R., Baroclinic tides in the
4. Robertson, R., Modeling Baroclinic Tides:
Resolution, Parameterization, and Performance, Colloquium
on Tides in honour and memory of Christian Le Provost, March 10-11, 2005,
5. Robertson, R., Modeling internal tides
6. Robertson, R., Recent Temperature Trends in the Deep Waters of the Weddell Sea,7th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography, Joint Symposium on High-Latitude Climate Variations, 12-16 May, Hyannis, MA, 2003.
7. Robertson, R., Vertical mixing parameterizations and their effects on the skill of baroclinic tidal modeling, 2003 Terrain-Following Ocean Models Users Workshop, 4-6 August 2003, PMEL/NOAA, Seattle WA, 2003.
8. Robertson, R., Modeling Internal tides in the Ross Sea, 2003 Terrain-Following Ocean Models Users Workshop, 4-6 August 2003, PMEL/NOAA, Seattle WA, 2003.
R., Baroclinic tides at
Fieberling Guyot: Evaluating the Ability to Simulate Velocities, American
Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 6-10, 2002,
10. Robertson, R., H. Hellmer, and. A. Beckmann, Tidal dynamics and mixing in the Ross Sea, American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences Meeting, Feb. 11-15, 2002, Honolulu, HI, 2002.
11. Robertson, R., H. Hellmer, and. A. Beckmann, Tidal dynamics and mixing in the Ross Sea, Conference on Oceanography of the Ross Sea, October 14-20, 2001, Ischia, Italy, 2001.
12. Robertson, R., A. Beckmann, A Comparison of POM and ROMS for Modeling Internal Tides in Weak Stratification, Terrain-following modeling communities workshop, August 20-22, 2001, Boulder, CO, 2001.
13. Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. D.
Levine, Internal tides in the southern Weddell Sea: The effects of the critical
latitude and shelf/slope fronts, presentation at American Geophysical Union
Ocean Sciences meeting, 2000,
14. Robertson, R., M. Visbeck and A. Gordon, The 1999 CORC southern Weddell Sea observational program, presentation at CORC meeting, Sept., 1999, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, 1999.
15. Robertson, R., and L. Padman, Sigma
coordinate pressure gradient errors and internal tides near the critical
latitude, presentation at Sigma Coordinate Users Meeting, Sept., 1999,
16. Robertson, R., L. Padman, and M. Levine, Effects of the critical latitude and fronts on internal tides in the southern Weddell Sea, presentation at iAnZone workshop, Sept., 1999, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, 1999.
17. Robertson, R., L. Padman, and G. D. Egbert, Tidal currents in the Weddell Sea, American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, 1996, San Francisco, CA, EOS, 77, No. 46, F412, 1996.
18. Robertson, R., G. D. Egbert, and L. Padman, Tidal currents in the Weddell Sea, American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences meeting, 1996, San Diego, CA, EOS, 77, No. 3, 86, 1996.
19. Robertson, R., L. Padman, M. D. Levine, R. D. Muench, M. G. McPhee, Internal waves in the eastern Weddell Sea during AnzFlux, IAPSO Proceedings No. 19, XXIst General Assembly, Honolulu, HI, 148, 1995.
20. Stanton, T. P., M. G. McPhee, L. Padman, and R. Robertson, R., Turbulent heat fluxes near the base of the mixed layer in the Weddell Sea, IAPSO Proceedings No. 19, XXIst General Assembly, Honolulu, HI, 149, 1995.
21. Robertson, R. and O. Shemdin, Short wave spectra modulation obtained using stereophotography, American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences meeting, 1990, New Orleans, LA, EOS, 71, No. 2, 82, 1990.
22. Robertson, R., A Monte Carlo model of particle dispersion due to wave motion, Oceans ’83 Proceedings, San Francisco, CA, AB1064, 988-992, 1983. \
23. Robertson, R. and M. Spaulding, A three dimensional numerical model of dispersion in the presence of a warm core ring, American Geophysical Union Spring Meeting, Baltimore, MD, EOS, 64, No. 8, 251, 1983.
Profile: (as published in Oceanography)
Modelers and observationalists often operate in different circles. I try to operate at the intersection. As a modeler, I simulate realistic scenarios, incorporating real data and verifying the results against observations. In turn, my simulations suggest where certain processes may be observed. I also collect data in field experiments, which is used for model verification. Field work reminds me how complex the real ocean is and what the models are still missing.
Although much of my career has been involved with waves of some
sort, vertical mixing mechanisms in the polar regions became my broad interest
in the early 1990’s and more recently my primary focus became tides. Tides are believed to be a major vertical
mixing mechanism throughout the world ocean.
Much of the mixing is believed to occur through interactions of the
barotropic tide with the continental slope or rough topography generating
internal tides. To determine the role of
tides in vertical mixing, I model the tidal fields in various regions in
3-D. Presently, I am simulating internal
tides not only in the
My career path has not been the standard, direct, one discipline
approach, but rather has combined oceanography and ocean engineering, academia
and industry, and field work, data analysis, and modeling. My first modeling projects were done as an
ocean engineering student, simulating oil dispersion due to wave motion and the
dispersion of pollutants. At the time, I
and four other women were the first to be admitted to the Ocean Engineering
Department at the
So how did a modeler start doing field work, especially in those days when many people felt that women should not go to sea? When I finished my Masters, things looked grim for an inexperienced, ocean engineer, due to a glut of unemployed, experienced ocean engineers when oil prices dropped. After I was hired by SAIC, I was soon actively involved in their environmental monitoring field program. This was fortunate, because suddenly I became a modeler with field experience. This would later open doors for me, for instance at Ocean Research and Engineering, where I ran a field program to measure surface waves using stereo photography.
I earned my PhD at
Florida Institute of Technology (
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Palisades,NY) post-doc Physical Oceanography 1999-2000, 2001
Alfred-Wegener Institute (Bremerhaven, Germany) post-doc International Research Fellow 2001
Appointments and Employment:
University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy,
Teaching a variety of oceanographic topics, including
internal waves, regional oceanography, and ocean dynamics. Modeling
the internal tides in the Ross and
Modeling the internal tides in the Ross and
Teaching a basic introductory undergraduate course on Oceanography with both a lecture and a lab.
Institut fuer Polar- und Meeresforschung,
(1-01 to 11-01)
Modeled the internal tides in the
(3-99 to 1-01 and 12-01 to 10-02 );
Modeling the internal tides in the
College of Oceanic
and Atmospheric Sciences,
(9-91 to 2-99);
Investigated various mechanisms, which affect mixing and heat transport in the upper ocean for the
Ocean Research and
(7-89 to 2-91);
Investigated surface waves using stereophotography. The project responsibilities included conducting two field experiments, processing and analyzing data, and presenting results.
(2-88 to 5-89);
Evaluated the physical oceanographic impact of ocean discharges for various clients. Performed analysis to determine circulation patterns and effluent transport. Participated in various field projects determining sediment budgets and beach erosion. Managed a Micro VAX II system.
(5-84 to 2-88) and (6-89 to 7-89);
Investigated phenomenological explanations for anomalous wave data observations. Analyzed remotely sensed oceanographic data, including satellite data (SEASAT). Headed a group, which developed diagnostics and software for quality assessment of oceanographic data. Participated in a shipboard data collection experiment.
(3-82 to 5-84) and (9-80 to 2-81);
Developed software for a state-of-the-art navigation and data acquisition system. Participated in environmental monitoring cruises. Evaluated a navigational error analysis model. Developed software for analysis of bathymetric and photometric data.
Department of Ocean Engineering,
(2-81 to 1-82);
Evaluated the dispersion of acid-iron waste at a deep water dumpsite in the
Hobbies: rock climbing, backpacking, whitewater kayaking, knitting, quilting