PhD Student, Oceanography
Instituto Dom Luiz, Earthsystems Doctoral Program

Centro MARE, OC.2.7
Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel.: +351 217 500 143

Linkedin | ORCID | Researcher ID | Research Gate | Google Scholar

Research Interests:
Physical Oceanography
Mesoscale and Sub-mesoscale Coherent Vortices (Eddies)
Mediterranean Water Eddies (Meddies)
Physical-Biological Interactions

My research is focused on Mediterranean Water eddies, known as “Meddies”. Meddies are subsurface mesoscale vortices occurring in the northeast Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters. Due to their depth, it is relatively difficult to identify, track, and study Meddies in a consistent manner.  While existing at depth, they also produce a distinctive sea-surface expression observable in both temperature and sea-level anomaly, which can be used as a proxy for identification, tracking, and observation of Meddies by remote sensing. The aim of my research is to study Meddies through the surface signature that they produce. This is done by comparing in-situ measurements with satellite altimetry and sea-surface temperature measurements. Meddies are not just independent vortices, but are a part of the larger system which is the Atlantic-Mediterranean interaction. The salt and heat transport by Meddies is thought to have critically important implications for water property distribution and dynamics in the North Atlantic. Therefore, a full understanding of Meddies will lead the way to understanding how the exchange of heat and salt between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean varies, how these water bodies interact, and how such deep structures affect the surface.

Observations of Meddy surface signals by satellite


Currently, satellite altimetry remains the most viable remote method of Meddy surface-signal observation (above, left panel). In cases where Meddies entrain cold water from the edges, Sea Surface Temperature measurements can aid in distinguishing Meddies from similar surface structures due to the unusual cold-core-positive-anomaly combination, and can detail the sub-mesoscale dynamics occurring within the Meddy surface expression’s reach (above, right panel).

By the same principle, the entrainment of water from the edges of a Meddy can be made visible through ocean color observations, again shedding light on the submesoscale phenomena caused by Meddies, as well as the physical-biological interactions therein (below).



Young-Heon Jo, Federico Ienna, and Xiao-Hai Yan. An analysis of the evolution of Meddies in the North Atlantic using floats and multisensor satellite data, Journal of Geophysical Research, Oceans, 2015 120, 1904-1917. doi: 10.1002/2014JC10495

Federico Ienna, Young-Heon Jo and Xiao-Hai Yan. A New Method for Tracking Meddies by Satellite Altimetry. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 2013 31, 1434–1445. doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00080.1

Federico Ienna, Hyok Yoo, and Gerald H. Pollack. Spatially Resolved Evaporative Patterns From Water. Soft Matter. 20128(47), 11850-11856 doi: 10.1039/C2SM26497H

Ivan S. Klyuzhin, Federico Ienna, Brandon Roeder, Adam Wexler, and Gerald H. Pollack. Persisting Water Droplets on Water Surfaces. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B. 2010 114 (44), 14020-14027 doi: 10.1021/jp106899k