Hartmut Peters



Phone: +1 206-352-3248 (please send email)
fax: +1 206-726-0524
email: hpeters (at) esr.org


Research focus: Smallscale turbulent mixing, its interaction with larger-scale flows including internal waves, direct observations at sea, models and theories of turbulent mixing generated by mean shear and internal waves, parameterization of turbulent mixing in numerical models.



Hartmut Peters joined ESR in 2008 after time on the faculties at the University of Miami and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is a seagoing physical oceanographer interested in smallscale, vertical turbulent mixing in oceanic and coastal waters. He learned how to make turbulence measurements at sea as a postdoc with Mike Gregg at the University of Washington.

Hartmut Peters’ main focus is on the interaction between smallscale turbulence on the one side and larger-scale motions on the other side: mesoscale and largescale currents and – especially – internal waves. He has a long-term interest in how to parameterize turbulent mixing in numerical ocean and coastal circulation models. In collaboration with Helmut Baumert (IAMARIS, Hamburg, Germany), he is currently developing a theory / model of a unified treatment of mixing generated by waves and mean shear.

The topic of vertical mixing may sound exotic, but is important in a practical, every day sense. Hartmut Peters was recently involved in a NOAA/NSF-sponsored project aimed at improving the performance of operational climate models used in climate forecasting. One of the problems of these models is gravity currents, fast-flowing heavy waters formed in cold or dry ocean basins such as the Nordic Seas, Antarctica and the Mediterranean. The gravity currents transport water down into the deep ocean as part of the vertical overturning circulation of the oceans. This overturning circulation is a crucial part of the earth’s climate system. Vertical mixing crucially affects the dynamics and properties of gravity currents.




B.S. (Vordiplom) (1971) University of Kiel, Germany (Oceanography).
M.S. (Diplom) (1974) University of Kiel, Germany (Oceanography).
Ph.D. (Dr.rer.nat.) (1981) University of Kiel, Germany (Oceanography).




In accordance with fair use rules, most papers can be made available by the author as pdf files.  Send a request by e-mail to hpeters (at) esr.org – even for ancient papers.


Nash, J. D., H. Peters, S. M. Kelly, J. L. Pelegrí, M. Emelianov, and M. Gasser (2012), Turbulence and high-frequency variability in a deep gravity current outflow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L18611, doi:10.1029/2012GL052899.

2009 – S. Legg and Collaborators. Improving Oceanic Overflow Representation in Climate Models. The Gravity Current Entrainment Climate Process Team. Bull Am. Meteorol. Soc., 90, 657-670

2009 – Y. S. Chang, Z. D. Garraffo, H. Peters and. T. M. Özgökmen. Pathways of Nordic Overflows From Climate Model Scale and Eddy Resolving Simulations. Ocean Modell., 29, 66-84

2009 – H. Z. Baumert and H. Peters. Turbulence Closure: Turbulence, Waves and the Wave-Turbulence Transition. 1. Vanishing Mean Shear. Ocean Science, 5, 47-58 (PDF)

2008 – M. G. Magaldi, T. M. Özgökmen, A. Griffa, E. P. Chassignet, M. Iskandarani and H. Peters. Turbulent flow regimes behind a coastal cape in a stratified and rotating environment. Ocean Modell., 25, 65-82

2008 – M. Ilıcak., T. M. Özgökmen, H. Peters, H. Z. Baumert, M. Iskandarani. Performance of Two-Equation Turbulence Closures in Three-Dimensional Simulations of the Red Sea Overflow. Ocean Modell., 24, 122-139

2008 – Y. S. Chang, T. M. Özgökmen, H. Peters, and X. Xu. Numerical Simulation of the Red Sea Outflow Using HYCOM and Comparison with REDSOX Observations. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 38, 337-358

2008 – M. Ilıcak, T. M. Özgökmen, H. Peters, H. Z. Baumert and M. Iskandarani: Very Large Eddy Simulation of the Red Sea Overflow. Ocean Modell., 20, 183-206

2007 – H. Peters and H. Z. Baumert. Validating a turbulence closure against estuarine microstructure measurements. Ocean Modell., 19, 183-203

2007 – H. Peters, C. M. Lee, M. Orlić and C. E. Dorman. Turbulence in the wintertime northern Adriatic Sea under strong atmospheric forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 112, C03S09, doi:10.1029/2006JC003634. +Correction

2007 – X. Xu, E. P. Chassignet, J. F. Price, T. M. Özgökmen and H. Peters. A regional modeling study of the entraining Mediterranean outflow. J. Geophys. Res., 112, C12005, doi:10.1029/2007JC004145

2006 – X. Xu, Y. S. Chang, H. Peters, T. M. Özgökmen, and E. P. Chassignet. Parameterization of gravity current entrainment for ocean circulation models using a high-order 3D nonhydrostatic spectral element model. Ocean Modelling, 14, 19-44

2006 – D. M. Fratantoni, A. S. Bower, W. E. Johns and H. Peters. Somali Current rings in the eastern Gulf of Aden. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 111, doi:10.1029/2005JC003338

2006 – H. Peters and W. E. Johns: Bottom Layer Turbulence in the Red Sea Outflow Plume. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 36, 1763-1785. +Correction 2007

2005 – H. Peters, W. E. Johns, A. S. Bower and D.M. Fratantoni. Mixing and entrainment in the Red Sea outflow plume. I. Plume structure. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 569-583

2005 – H. Peters and W. E. Johns. Mixing and entrainment in the Red Sea outflow plume. II. Turbulence characteristics. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 584-600

2005 – Bower, A.S., W.E. Johns, D.M. Fratantoni and H. Peters: Equilibration and circulation of Red Sea outflow water in the western Gulf of Aden. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 1963-1985

2005 – H. Peters and M. Orlić. Ocean mixing in the springtime central Adriatic Sea. Geofizika, 22, 1-19. (PDF)

2005 – H. Peters, H. Baumert and J. P. Jacob: Partially mixed estuaries: the Hudson River. In: Marine turbulence: theories, observations and models, chapter 39, pp. 324-333, H. Baumert, J. Simpson and J. Sündermann, eds., Cambridge University Press

2005 – H. Baumert and H. Peters: A novel two-equation turbulence closure for high Reynolds numbers. Part A: homogeneous, non-rotating stratified shear layers. In: Marine turbulence: theories, observations and models, chapter 3, pp. 14-30, H. Baumert, J. Simpson and J. Sündermann, eds., Cambridge University Press

2005 – Y. S. Chang, X. Xu, T. M. Özgökmen, E. P. Chassignet, H. Peters and P. F. Fischer. Comparison of gravity current parameterizations and calibration using a high-resolution 3D nonhydrostatic spectral element model. Ocean Modell., 10, 342-368

2005 – H. Peters and H. Baumert. Reply. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 135

2004 – H. Baumert and H. Peters. Turbulence closure, steady state, and collapse into waves. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 34, 505-512

2003 – H. Peters: Broadly distributed and locally enhanced turbulent mixing in a tidal estuary. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 33, 1967-1977

2003 – T. M. Özgökmen, W. E. Johns, H. Peters and S. Matt: Turbulent mixing in the Red Sea outflow plume from a high-resolution nonhydrostatic model. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 33, 1846-1869

2002 – H. Peters, L. K. Shay, A. J. Mariano, and T. M. Cook. Current variability on a narrow shelf with large ambient vorticity. J. Geophys. Res., 107, C8, doi=10.1029/2001JC000813, 2002

2002 – L. K. Shay, T. M. Cook, H. Peters, A. J. Mariano, R. Weisberg, P. E. An, A. Soloviev, and M. Luther. Very high-frequency mapping of surface currents. IEEE J. Ocean. Engineer., 27, 155-169

2002 – A. S. Bower, D. M. Fratantoni, W. E. Johns and H. Peters. Gulf of Aden eddies and their impact on Red Sea Water. Geophys. Res. Lett., 29, 21, 2025, doi=10.1029/2002GL015342

2001 – H. Peters and R. Bokhorst. Microstructure observations of turbulent mixing in a partially mixed estuary, II: Salt flux and stress. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31, 1105-1119

2000 – L.K. Shay, T.M. Cook, B.K. Haus, J. Martinez, H. Peters, A.J. Mariano, J. Van Leer, P. E. An, S. Smith, A. Soloviev, R. Weisberg, and M. Luther. VHF Radar detects oceanic mesoscale vortex along Florida coast. EOS, 81, 209-213. (PDF)

2000 – H. Peters and R. Bokhorst. Microstructure observations of turbulent mixing in a partially mixed estuary, I: Dissipation rate. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 30, 1232-1244

2000 – H. Baumert and H. Peters: Second-moment closures and length scales for weakly stratified turbulent shear flows. J. Geophys. Res., 105, 6453-6468

1999 – H. Peters. Spatial and temporal variability of turbulent mixing in an estuary. J. Marine Res., 57, 805-845

1997 – H. Peters. Observations of stratified turbulent mixing in an estuary. Neap-to-spring variations during high river run-off. Estuar., Coast. Shelf Sci., 45: 69-88

1996 – Gregg, M.C., D.P. Winkel, T.B. Sanford and H. Peters. Turbulence produced by internal waves in the oceanic thermocline at mid and low latitudes. Dyn. Atmos. Oceans. 24, 1-14

1995 – H. Peters, M.C. Gregg and T.B. Sanford. Detail and scaling of turbulent overturns in the Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent. J. Geophys. Res., 100: 18,349-18,368

1995 – H. Peters, M.C. Gregg and T.B. Sanford. On the parameterization of equatorial turbulence: Effect of fine-scale variations below the range of the diurnal cycle. J. Geophys. Res., 100: 18,333-18,348

1994 – Peters, H., M.C. Gregg and T.B. Sanford. The diurnal cycle of the upper equatorial ocean: Turbulence, fine-scale shear and mean shear. J. Geophys. Res., 99, 7707 -7723

1992 – M. J. McPhaden and H. Peters. Diurnal cycle of internal wave variability in the equatorial Pacific Ocean: Results from moored observations. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 22, 1317-1329

1992 – J. N. Moum, M. J. McPhaden, D. Hebert, H. Peters, C. A. Paulson, D. R. Caldwell. Internal waves, dynamic instabilities, and turbulence in the equatorial thermocline: An introduction to three papers in this issue. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 22, 1357-1359

1991 – H. Peters, H., M. C. Gregg and T. B. Sanford. Equatorial and off-equatorial fine-scale and large-scale shear variability in the Equatorial Undercurrent at 140oW. J. Geophys. Res., 96, 16913-16928

1989 – Peters, M. C. Gregg and J. M. Toole, 1989. Meridional variability of turbulence through the equatorial undercurrent. J. Geophys. Res., 94, 18,003-18,009

1988 – H. Peters, M. C. Gregg and J. M. Toole. On the parameterization of equatorial turbulence. J. Geophys. Res., 93: 1199-1218

1988 – H. Peters and M. C. Gregg. Some dynamical and statistical properties of equatorial turbulence. In Small-Scale Turbulence and Mixing in the Ocean, Proceedings of the 19th International Colloquium on Ocean Hydrodynamics, J. C. J. Nihoul and B. M. Jamart, eds., Elsevier, Amsterdam, 185-200

1987 – J. M. Toole, H. Peters and M. C. Gregg. Upper ocean shear and density variability at the equator during TROPIC HEAT. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 17, 1397 – 1406

1986 – G. Siedler and H. Peters. Physical properties (general) of sea water. In: LANDOLT-BÖRNSTEIN. Numerical data and functional relationships in science and technology. New Series, Oceanography. V/3a, Springer, Berlin, etc., 233-264

1985 – M. C. Gregg, H. Peters, J. C. Wesson, N. S. Oakey and T. J. Shay. Intensive measurements of turbulence and shear in the Equatorial Undercurrent. Nature, 318, 140-144

1983 – H. Peters. The kinematics of a stochastic field of internal waves modified by a mean shear current. Deep-Sea Res., 30: 119-148

1983 – M. D. Levine, C. A. Paulson, M. G. Briscoe, R. A. Weller and H. Peters. Internal waves in JASIN. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London, A308, 389-405

1978 – H. Peters. On the variability of the near-surface oceanic layer in the Intertropical Convergence Zone. Oceanol. Acta, 1, 305-314

1976 – H. Peters. The spreading of the water masses of the Banc d’Arguin in the upwelling area off the northern Mauritanian coast. ” Meteor” Forschungsergebnisse, A18, 78-100


Current Research Projects:

  • MIWE – Mediterranean Outflow Internal Wave Experiment
  • Two-equation turbulence model for internal wave- and mean shear-driven mixing