Dr. Bane conducts research on the dynamics of the Gulf Stream and coastal air-sea interaction processes. This work focuses on mesoscale oceanic and atmospheric variability that occurs on daily and longer time scales. Using both observational and numerical modeling methods, Dr. Bane is presently studying Gulf Stream meanders that propagate into the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and interact with surrounding circulations. He is a member of the scientific investigation team in the SYNOP (SYNoptic Ocean Prediction) Program, which is the largest and most extensive observational program ever conducted in the Gulf Stream system. Dr. Bane has been working closely with Ph.D. candidate Dana Savidge in studying the process of deep-ocean cyclogenesis, which was discovered by the SYNOP observational program. This is a dynamical process that strongly couples the surface meandering of the Gulf Stream to deep oceanic circulations. It is similar in several aspects to atmospheric surface cyclogenesis driven by Jet Stream trough development.
Dr. Bane is also investigating the wintertime air-sea interaction processes that occur along the Gulf Stream. These interactions can be very strong and typically modify the Stream and cause winter storm intensification along the East Coast of the U.S. During GALE (the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment) in 1986, Dr. Bane collected one of the most high quality data sets on wintertime air-sea heat exchanges in the Gulf Stream region. Recently, Dr. Bane and Prof. Huijie Xue of the University of Maine have combined these observational data sets with current generation numerical models to provide a significantly improved understanding of the oceanic response to some of the strongest atmospheric forcing the ocean experiences.
In addition to the above studies, Dr. Bane is currently one of several investigators conducting an observational and modeling program to study propagating, coastally trapped disturbances in the atmospheric marine layer off the U.S. West Coast. This program has had two field observational periods, summer 1994 and summer 1996, and during these times Dr. Bane made extensive aircraft observations of the structure and evolution of several propagating disturbances. His aircraft work has provided new views of the anatomy of this type of atmospheric disturbance, which has lead to a new understanding of the nature of these airflow events. It also was a proving ground for the small aircraft measurement technique, without which this new level of understanding would not have been achieved (see Fall ’97 Endeavors feature story, “Weather Aloft”).
Dr. Bane heads the Carolina Ocean Observations Laboratory (COOL). His research is supported by grants from NSF and ONR. He is a joint faculty member in the Departments of Geology and Environmental Sciences and Engineering and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.