Alberto Alberello

Alberto Alberello
University of East Anglia | UEA · School of Mathematics

PhD

About

47
Publications
13,101
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496
Citations
Introduction
I investigate geophysical fluid dynamics problems and interactions at the air--sea--ice interface combining theoretical, numerical and physical modelling as well as conducting field measurements. In particular, I focus on marginal ice zone processes and nonlinear ocean wave dynamics.
Additional affiliations
November 2021 - present
University of East Anglia
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Description
  • Model linear and nonlinear waves in ice covered waters
June 2021 - November 2021
Università degli Studi di Torino
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Study of the statistical properties of waves in the Mediterranean Sea
December 2020 - June 2021
The University of Tokyo
Position
  • Fellow
Description
  • Unveiling ocean waves physics in sea ice using mathematical/numerical models and measurements
Education
March 2010 - April 2012
Politecnico di Milano
Field of study
  • Civil Engineering
September 2006 - February 2010
Politecnico di Milano
Field of study
  • Civil Engineering

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Full-text available
The dynamic and thermal regimes of climate are regulated by an exchange of energy and momentum between the atmosphere and the ocean. The role exerted by surface waves on this interchange is particularly enigmatic. Waves induce turbulence in the upper ocean by breaking and through Langmuir circulations. However, waves can directly inject energy into...
Article
Full-text available
Nonlinear wave interactions affect the evolution of steep wave groups, their breaking and the associated kinematic field. Laboratory experiments are performed to investigate the effect of the underlying focussing mechanism on the shape of the breaking wave and its velocity field. In this regard, it is found that the shape of the wave spectrum plays...
Article
Full-text available
A stochastic second-order wave model is applied to assess the statistical properties of wave orbital velocity in random sea states below the water surface. Directional spreading effects as well as the dependency of the water depth are investigated by means of a Monte-Carlo approach. Unlike for the surface elevation, sub-harmonics dominate the secon...
Article
Full-text available
The size distribution of pancake ice floes is calculated from images acquired during a voyage to the Antarctic marginal ice zone in the winter expansion season. Results show that 50% of the sea ice area is made up of floes with diameters of 2.3–4m. The floe size distribution shows two distinct slopes on either side of the 2.3–4m range, neither of w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Wave breaking has large impact on stresses and loading on marine structures, but it is not yet accounted for in the design process. A numerical investigation is here presented to fully assess the three-dimensional velocity field underneath a breaking wave. The breaking onset is achieved by modulating an initial monochromatic wave with infinitesimal...
Article
Sea ice attenuates waves propagating from the open ocean. Here, we model the evolution of energetic unidirectional random waves in the marginal ice zone with a nonlinear Schrödinger equation, with a frequency dependent dissipative term consistent with current model paradigms and recent field observations. The preferential dissipation of high freque...
Article
Full-text available
Irregular, unidirectional surface water waves incident on model ice in an ice tank are used as a physical model of ocean surface wave interactions with sea ice. Results are given for an experiment consisting of three tests, starting with a continuous ice cover and in which the incident wave steepness increases between tests. The incident waves rang...
Article
Full-text available
Sea-ice drift in the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) is discussed using data from a 4-month- long drift of a buoy deployed on a pancake ice floe during the winter sea-ice expansion. We demonstrate increased meandering and drift speeds, and changes in the dynamical regimes of the absolute dispersion during cyclone activity, together with high corr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sea ice attenuates waves propagating from the open ocean. Here we model the evolution of energetic unidirectional random waves in sea ice with a nonlinear Schr\"{o}dinger equation, with a frequency dependent dissipative term consistent with current model paradigms and recent field observations. The preferential dissipation of high frequency compone...
Preprint
Full-text available
Irregular, unidirectional surface water waves incident on model ice in an ice tank are used as a physical model of ocean surface wave interactions with sea ice. Results are given for an experiment consisting of three tests, starting with a continuous ice cover and in which the incident wave steepness increases between tests. The incident waves rang...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) is a highly dynamic region where sea ice interacts with ocean surface waves generated in ice-free areas of the Southern Ocean. Improved large-scale (satellite-based) estimates of MIZ width and variability are crucial for understanding atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions and biological processes, and detection of...
Data
Supplementary Information to Landwehr, S., Volpi, M., Haumann, F. A., Robinson, C. M., Thurnherr, I., Ferracci, V., Baccarini, A., Thomas, J., Gorodetskaya, I., Tatzelt, C., Henning, S., Modini, R. L., Forrer, H. J., Lin, Y., Cassar, N., Simó, R., Hassler, C., Moallemi, A., Fawcett, S. E., Harris, N., Airs, R., Derkani, M. H., Alberello, A., Toffol...
Article
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean is a critical component of Earth's climate system, but its remoteness makes it challenging to develop a holistic understanding of its processes from the small scale to the large scale. As a result, our knowledge of this vast region remains largely incomplete. The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE, austral summer 2016/201...
Article
A physical model is discussed that mimics the interaction between ocean waves and a multitude of loose pancake ice floes, which form the outer edge of the Arctic and Antarctic marginal ice zones during winter sea ice formation. The pancakes were modeled by using ice cubes with different concentrations, while waves were generated mechanically. The i...
Conference Paper
Sea state conditions can be estimated from the motion of a moving ship by converting its response to incident waves through the response amplitude operator. The method is applied herein to ship motion data from the icebreaker R/V Akademik Tryosh-nikov and recorded during the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition across the Southern Ocean during the...
Article
Full-text available
The marginal ice zone is a highly dynamical region where sea ice and ocean waves interact. Large-scale sea ice models only compute domain-averaged responses. As the majority of the marginal ice zone consists of mobile ice floes surrounded by grease ice, finer-scale modelling is needed to resolve variations of its mechanical properties, wave-induced...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean is a critical component of Earth’s climate system, but its remoteness makes it challenging to develop a holistic understanding of its processes from the small to the large scale. As a result, our knowledge of this vast region remains largely incomplete. The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE, austral summer 2016/2017) sur...
Preprint
Full-text available
The marginal ice zone is a highly dynamical region where sea ice and ocean waves interact. Large-scale sea ice models only compute domain-averaged responses. As the majority of the marginal ice zone consists of mobile ice floes surrounded by grease ice, finer-scale modelling is needed to resolve variations of its mechanical properties, wave-induced...
Article
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean has a profound impact on the Earth's climate system. Its strong winds, intense currents, and fierce waves are critical components of the air–sea interface and contribute to absorbing, storing, and releasing heat, moisture, gases, and momentum. Owing to its remoteness and harsh environment, this region is significantly undersample...
Preprint
Full-text available
Propagation of energetic surface gravity waves over a $>40$\,km transect of the winter Antarctic marginal ice zone comprised of pancake floes and interstitial frazil ice during an explosive polar cyclone are presented, obtained with a shipborne stereo-camera system. The waves are shown to attenuate at an exponential rate over distance, but, despite...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Southern Ocean has a profound impact on the Earth's climate system. Its strong winds, intense currents, and fierce waves are critical components of the air-sea interface and contribute to absorbing, storing, and releasing heat, moisture, gasses, and momentum. Owing to its remoteness and harsh environment, this region is significantly under samp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Ocean waves penetrate hundreds of kilometres into the ice- covered ocean. Waves fracture the level ice into small floes, herd floes, introduce warm water and overwash the floes, accelerating ice melt and causing collisions, which concurrently erodes the floes and influences the large-scale deformation. Concomitantly, interactions between waves and...
Article
Full-text available
We examine and discuss the spatial evolution of the statistical properties of mechanically generated surface gravity wave fields, initialized with unidirectional spectral energy distributions, uniformly distributed phases, and Rayleigh distributed amplitudes. We demonstrate that nonlinear interactions produce an energy cascade towards high frequenc...
Preprint
Full-text available
We examine and discuss the spatial evolution of the statistical properties of mechanically generated wave fields, initialised with uniformly distributed phases and Rayleigh distributed amplitudes. We demonstrate that nonlinear interactions produce an energy cascade towards high frequency modes and triggers localised intermittent bursts. By analysin...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary During the Antarctic winter, small pancake ice floes, which form rapidly in wavy conditions, dominate new ice growth and create a dynamic environment. However, there are only a handful of local observations of pancake ice drift, particularly during the intense polar cyclones that frequently reshape the ice cover. More observa...
Preprint
Full-text available
High temporal resolution in--situ measurements of pancake ice drift are presented, from a pair of buoys deployed on floes in the Antarctic marginal ice zone during the winter sea ice expansion, over nine days in which the region was impacted by four polar cyclones. Concomitant measurements of wave-in-ice activity from the buoys is used to infer tha...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary The extent of Antarctic sea ice is characterized by large regional variations that are in stark contrast with the alarming decreasing trends found in the Arctic. This is partly due to the presence of severe weather events, like extratropical cyclones travelling through the Southern Ocean and reaching the marginal ice zone (MI...
Article
Full-text available
Wave breaking is the most characteristic feature of the ocean surface. Physical investigations (in the field and at laboratory scale) and numerical simulations have studied the driving mechanisms that lead to wave breaking and its effects on hydrodynamic loads on marine structures. Despite computational advances, accurate numerical simulations of t...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of surface gravity waves is driven by nonlinear interactions that trigger an energy cascade similarly to the one observed in hydrodynamic turbulence. This process, known as wave turbulence, has been found to display anomalous scaling with deviation from classical turbulent predictions due to the emergence of coherent and intermittent...
Article
Full-text available
Hydroelastic interactions between regular water waves and floating freshwater ice are investigated using laboratory experiments for a range of incident wave periods and steepnesses. It is shown that only incident waves with sufficiently long period and large steepness break up the ice cover and that the extent of breakup increases with increasing p...
Article
Full-text available
The size distribution of pancake ice floes is calculated from images acquired during a voyage to the Antarctic marginal ice zone in the winter expansion season. Results show that 50% of the sea ice area is made up by floes with diameters 2.3–4m. The floe size distribution shows two distinct slopes on either side of the 2.3–4m range. It is conjectur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Hydroelastic interactions between regular water waves and floating freshwater ice are investigated using laboratory experiments for a range of incident wave periods and steepnesses. It is shown that only incident waves with sufficiently long period and large steepness break up the ice cover, and that the extent of breakup increases with increasing...
Poster
Full-text available
Southern Ocean waves are the largest on Earth, but their interaction with sea ice is a particularly poorly understood feedback in the climate system. Limited observations of waves in the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) show that waves can travel hundreds of kilometers into the ice and that current representations of wave decay are inappropriate i...
Preprint
Full-text available
The evolution of surface gravity waves is driven by nonlinear interactions that trigger an energy cascade similarly to the one observed in hydrodynamic turbulence. This process, known as wave turbulence, has been found to display anomalous scaling with deviation from classical turbulent predictions due to the emergence of coherent and intermittent...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Waves penetrate deep into the ice covered seas, inducing breakup of the ice cover. Concomitantly, the ice cover attenuates the wave energy over distance, so that wave impacts die out eventually. Observations of wave attenuation and concurrent wave-induced breakup in the literature are serendipitous due to difficulties in making measurements in ice...
Article
Wave-induced turbulence due to breaking in the absence of surface shear stresses is investigated experimentally. A high-fidelity particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique is used to measure the turbulence near the water surface, inside the wave crests. The spatial velocity vector fields of the breaking waves acquired from PIV provide accurate vert...
Poster
Full-text available
In ocean engineering, wave focusing techniques are routinely adopted to deterministically reproduce rogue waves in numerical and physical wave experiments. The nonlinear Schrödinger Equation (NLSE), that accounts for the nonlinear dynamical evolution of a wave envelope, accurately describes the physical mechanism leading to the formation of rogue w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During the past decades, a large number of waves of extreme height and abnormal shape, also known as freak or rogue waves, have been recorded in the ocean. Velocities and related forces can be enormous and jeopardise the safety of marine structures. Here, we present an experimental study devoted to investigate the velocity field underneath a breaki...
Conference Paper
In this paper the breaking of steep free surface waves is investigated by a two-fluid numerical approach. The study is focused at providing estimates of the energy dissipation and the variations to the spectrum associated to the breaking process. The simulations make available a highly refined description of the flow in both air and water which is...
Article
Full-text available
A laboratory experimental model of an incident ocean wave interacting with an ice floe is used to validate the canonical, solitary floe version of contemporary theoretical models of wave attenuation in the ice-covered ocean. Amplitudes of waves transmitted by the floe are presented as functions of incident wave steepness for different incident wave...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A theoretical model of water waves washing over the surface of a floating thin elastic plates is proposed. Coupled linear potential-flow and thin-plate theories are used to force the overwash. Nonlinear shallow water theory is used to model the overwash. Model predictions of the overwash depth are compared against measurements from laboratory wave...
Article
Full-text available
An experimental model is used to validate a theoretical model of a sea ice floe’s flexural motion, induced by ocean waves. A thin plastic plate models the ice floe in the experiments. Rigid and compliant plastics and two different thicknesses are tested. Regular incident waves are used, with wavelengths less than, equal to, and greater than the flo...
Article
An experimental model of transmission of ocean waves by an ice floe is presented. Thin plastic plates with different material properties and thicknesses are used to model the floe. Regular incident waves with different periods and steepnesses are used, ranging from gently-sloping to storm-like conditions. A wave gauge is used to measure the water s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The inclusion of at least the second order nonlinear contribution is necessary to achieve an accurate representation of ocean waves. While this is well known for the surface elevation, the importance of second order nonlinearity on the velocity potential, and hence on the wave kinematics and associated wave loads, is still unclear. To explicitly ad...
Article
Full-text available
An experimental model of ocean wave attenuation due to interactions with an ice floe is presented. Evolution of mechanically-generated, regular waves is monitored in front and in the lee of a solitary, square floe, made of a synthetic material. Results confirm dependence of attenuation on the period of the incident wave. Results also indicate depen...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Water waves are commonly used as example of waves but “have all the complications that waves can have” as Prof Richard Feynman pointed out in his Lectures on Physics. Starting from the mid 19th century, fundamental wave theories for deep and shallow waters were formulated providing a mathematical framework for applications in physics and engineering. This Special Issue of Fluids (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/fluids/special_issues/water_waves) collects reviews and original research on recent developments in the mathematical and numerical modeling of water waves phenomena. Specific topics may include wave breaking, nonlinear wave propagation, spectral wave modeling, wave turbulence, rogue waves, solitary waves, wave–current interaction, wave–structure interaction, and wave energy conversion.
Project
Offshore and shipping industry requires accurate prediction of the shape of the largest waves and associated velocities to design and operate marine structures. Of particular interest are the so-called rogue waves, these waves are at least twice the height of the surrounding waves and often prone to breaking. The kinematic field associated with breaking rogue waves is responsible for the largest hydrodynamic loads on marine structures that, over the decades, have been responsible for many accidents recorded at sea.