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Dr Ata (Sutara) Suanda

Contact detailsAtaSuanda

Office 310 Castle Street, room 152
Tel +64 3 479 5369
Email ata.suanda@otago.ac.nz

Academic qualifications

BA Wesleyan University (2003)
MSc Oregon State University (2009)
PhD, Oregon State University (2014)

Research interests

  • Circulation and water properties in coastal, estuarine and nearshore environments
  • The interaction of physical processes with biogeochemistry and human interests in the coastal ocean
  • Tides, internal waves, wind- and wave-driven physics
  • Numerical models of ocean circulation and model literacy

Ata is also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies

Research projects

My research focuses on physical processes in the coastal ocean. This work includes running idealised and realistic numerical models, maintaining oceanographic observations, and collaborating with community partners to enhance our understanding of the coastal environment.

Coastal modelling

Headland
Example of simulated headland surface temperature and circulation with wave wind, wave, and tidal forcing.

Winds, waves, and tides drive coastal circulation with wide reaching impacts on pollutant dispersal, nutrient delivery, and the connectivity of marine organisms.

Oceanographic modelling across a wide range of space and time scales is a collaborative effort and intersects physical oceanography, computer science, and model evaluation and data analysis.

Ongoing work from California, USA: 

https://scripps.ucsd.edu/projects/innershelf/modeling/

For coastal New Zealand, we collaborate with the Moana project:

https://www.moanaproject.org/

Transient rip currents

Rip
Plan view of simulated instantaneous sea level (left) and a measure of circulation, vorticity (right). The shoreline is on the right and the region of wave breaking (surfzone) is identified by the dashed black line.

Random, directionally-spread breaking waves drive episodic offshore flows (transient rip currents).

These flows have implications for swimmer safety and are currently not represented in wave-averaged models.

We use a wave-resolving model funwaveC as a numerical laboratory to characterize transient rip currents and determine scaling relations to background wave conditions.

Coastal ocean observations

Anchor
Plough anchor used for coastal mooring, 2018. Mounted to the shank is a high-frequency wave and tide recorder.

Understanding complex coastal ocean dynamics requires persistent and innovative observational methods.

In collaboration with other Otago faculty and the Marine Science RV fleet, we look to continue and expand upon the long history of observations of the Otago coastal ocean.

Courses

  • OCEN 321 Ocean Physics and Modelling (co-ordinator)
  • OCEN 201 Physical Oceanography
  • OCEN 301 Practical and Field Oceanography
  • OCEN 450 Data Analysis Methods in Oceanography

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Publications

Gough, M. K., Freismuth, T. M., MacMahan, J. H., Colosi, J. A., Suanda, S. H., & Kumar, N. (2020). Heating of the midshelf and inner shelf by warm internal tidal bores. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 50(9), 2609-2620. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-19-0143.1

Kumar, N., Pringle, J. M., Moulton, M., Suanda, S., & Fewings, M. R. (2020). Quantifying the relative importance of various physical mechanisms for plankton and nutrient transport between the shore and the shelf waters. Proceedings of the Ocean Sciences Meetings (OSM). PI11A-04. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/agu/osm20/meetingapp.cgi

Valcarcel, A., Stevens, C., Suanda, A., & O'Callaghan, J. (2020). The variability of turbulent ocean mixing in a weakly stratified energetic tidal flow. Proceedings of the Fluids in New Zealand (FiNZ) Conference. (pp. 32). Retrieved from http://sfat.massey.ac.nz/finz2020

Suanda, S. (2020). Three-dimensional inner-shelf circulation downstream of Otago peninsula, New Zealand. Proceedings of the Ocean Sciences Meetings (OSM). CP44G-1448. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/agu/osm20/meetingapp.cgi

Haas, K. A., Ahn, S., Di Lorenzo, E., Kumar, N., Suanda, S., Edwards, C. A., & Miller, A. J. (2020). Modeling coastal upwelling on the inner shelf near Pt. Sal, California. Proceedings of the Ocean Sciences Meetings (OSM). CP44G-1444. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/agu/osm20/meetingapp.cgi

Journal - Research Article

Gough, M. K., Freismuth, T. M., MacMahan, J. H., Colosi, J. A., Suanda, S. H., & Kumar, N. (2020). Heating of the midshelf and inner shelf by warm internal tidal bores. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 50(9), 2609-2620. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-19-0143.1

Kumar, N., Suanda, S. H., Colosi, J. A., Haas, K., Di Lorenzo, E., Miller, A. J., & Edwards, C. A. (2019). Coastal semidiurnal internal tidal incoherence in the Santa Maria Basin, California: Observations and model simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124, 5158-5179. doi: 10.1029/2018JC014891

Spydell, M. S., Feddersen, F., & Suanda, S. (2019). Inhomogeneous turbulent dispersion across the nearshore induced by surfzone eddies. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49, 1015-1034. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-18-0102.1

Suanda, S. H., Feddersen, F., Spydell, M. S., & Kumar, N. (2018). The effect of barotropic and baroclinic tides on three-dimensional coastal dispersion. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 11235-11246. doi: 10.1029/2018GL079884

Colosi, J. A., Kumar, N., Suanda, S. H., Freismuth, T. M., & MacMahan, J. H. (2018). Statistics of internal tide bores and internal solitary waves observed on the inner contintental shelf off Point Sal, California. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48, 123-143. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-17-0045.1

Suanda, S. H., Feddersen, F., & Kumar, N. (2017). The effect of barotropic and baroclinic tides on coastal stratification and mixing. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122(10), 156-173. doi: 10.1002/2017JC013379

Kumar, N., Feddersen, F., Suanda, S., Uchiyama, Y., & McWilliams, J. (2016). Mid- to inner-shelf coupled ROMS-SWAN model-data comparison of currents and temperature: Diurnal and semidiurnal variability. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 46, 841-862. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-15-0103.1

Suanda, S. H., Kumar, N., Miller, A. J., Di Lorenzo, E., Haas, K., Cai, D., … Feddersen, F. (2016). Wind relaxation and a coastal bouyant plume north of Pt. Conception, CA: Observations, simulations, and scalings. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121(10), 7455-7475. doi: 10.1002/2016JC011919

Suanda, S. H., Perez, S., & Feddersen, F. (2016). Evaluation of a source-function wavemaker for generating random directionally spread waves in the sea-swell band. Coastal Engineering, 114, 220-232. doi: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2016.04.006

Suanda, S. H., & Feddersen, F. (2015). A self-similar scaling for cross-shelf exchange driven by transient rip currents. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(13), 5427-5434. doi: 10.1002/2015GL063944

Suanda, S. H., & Barth, J. A. (2015). Semidiurnal barolinic tides on the Central Oregon inner shelf. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45, 2640-2659. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-14-0198.1

Suanda, S. H., Barth, J. A., Holman, R. A., & Stanley, J. (2014). Shore-based video observations of nonlinear internal waves across the inner shelf. Journal of Atmospheric & Oceanic Technology, 31, 714-728. doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-13-00098.1

Suanda, S. H., Barth, J. A., & Woodson, C. B. (2011). Diurnal heat balance for northern Monterey Bay inner shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 116(C9), C09030. doi: 10.1029/2010JC006894

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Journal - Research Other

O’Callaghan, J., Stevens, C., Roughan, M., Cornelisen, C., Sutton, P., Garrett, S., … Smith, R. O., … Suanda, S. H., … Macdonald, H. (2019). Developing an integrated ocean observing system for New Zealand. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6, 143. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00143

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Kumar, N., Pringle, J. M., Moulton, M., Suanda, S., & Fewings, M. R. (2020). Quantifying the relative importance of various physical mechanisms for plankton and nutrient transport between the shore and the shelf waters. Proceedings of the Ocean Sciences Meetings (OSM). PI11A-04. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/agu/osm20/meetingapp.cgi

Haas, K. A., Ahn, S., Di Lorenzo, E., Kumar, N., Suanda, S., Edwards, C. A., & Miller, A. J. (2020). Modeling coastal upwelling on the inner shelf near Pt. Sal, California. Proceedings of the Ocean Sciences Meetings (OSM). CP44G-1444. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/agu/osm20/meetingapp.cgi

Suanda, S. (2020). Three-dimensional inner-shelf circulation downstream of Otago peninsula, New Zealand. Proceedings of the Ocean Sciences Meetings (OSM). CP44G-1448. Retrieved from https://agu.confex.com/agu/osm20/meetingapp.cgi

Valcarcel, A., Stevens, C., Suanda, A., & O'Callaghan, J. (2020). The variability of turbulent ocean mixing in a weakly stratified energetic tidal flow. Proceedings of the Fluids in New Zealand (FiNZ) Conference. (pp. 32). Retrieved from http://sfat.massey.ac.nz/finz2020

Suanda, A., & Smith, R. (2019). High-frequency temperature oscillations on the Otago inner shelf. Proceedings of the 7th NZ Fluid Mechanics (FiNZ) Conference. (pp. 25). Retrieved from https://www.maths.otago.ac.nz/conferences/finz2019

Suanda, A., Roughan, M., & De Souza, J. (2019). The MOANA project ocean hindcast: Data access and model-data comparisons. Proceedings of the New Zealand Coastal Society (NZCS) Annual Conference. (pp. 47). Retrieved from https://www.coastalsociety.org.nz/

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