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Ryan P. Mulligan, PhD, PEng
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Tel: (613) 533-6503
Fax: (613) 533-2128
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) - Oceanography
Dalhousie University, Halifax NS, Canada
Master of Applied Science (M.A. Sc) - Civil Engineering
University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, Canada
Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc) - Geological Engineering
Queen's University, Kingston ON, Canada
I am a coastal engineer and oceanographer, with interests in the physical forces that cause changes to coastal regions and the ways in which coastal systems respond. Coastal processes act over a range in time scales from seconds (like surface waves) to hundreds of years (like sea level rise), but often it is timescales of days (like hurricanes and storm events) over which major changes such as erosion occurs that affect human populations. Coastal processes can also act over a wide range of spatial scales from sub-millimetre scale (like fluid turbulence) to thousands of kilometres (like tsunamis) and it is important to understand the interaction of many different processes to simulate and predict future changes to the coastal environment.
I am particularly interested in surface waves, ocean currents, transport of water and sediments and contaminants, and changes in the geomorphology of the coastline and seabed. I use field observations and numerical models to study coastal systems, and develop further understanding of the processes that affect oceans, estuaries and rivers. I am particularly interested in coastal regions that are exposed to severe storms including hurricanes, with large waves and strong currents, and understanding coastal erosion and flooding. I am also interested in marine renewable energy, and impacts on the marine environment.
My current research sites are:
1. Coastal bays in Nova Scotia, Canada, including the Bay of Fundy and Lunenburg Bay.
2. Beaches, barrier islands and estuaries in North Carolina, USA.
3. Mackenzie River Delta in the Northwest Territories, Canada, on the Arctic Ocean.
4. Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Canada.
HURRICANE IRENE STORM SURGE
Figure 1: a) Vortex model estimates of the wind field for Hurricane Irene over eastern NC, with vectors indicating the wind direction and colour contours representing the wind speed; b) hydrodynamic model (Delft3D) results showing the water level displacement from the mean at the time of maximum surge along the Outer Banks; c) wave model (SWAN) results for significant wave height at the time of maximum wave height in Pamlico Sound.
Figure 2: Time-series comparison of observed and predicted water-level displacement: a) in a tributary estuary on the western side of Pamlico Sound, and b) the eastern side of Pamlico Sound near Cape Hatteras (Stn. HCGN7, courtesy of NOAA). Vertical line indicates time of Fig. 1b.
Figure 3: Aerial photographs showing: a) breaches through Pea Island, and b) flooding of Hatteras Island (imagery courtesy of NOAA).
- Leorri, E., Mulligan, R.P., Mallinson, D., and Cearreta, A., (2011). Sea-level rise and local tidal range changes in coastal embayments: An added complexity in developing reliable sea-level index points, Journal of Integrated Coastal Zone Management, 11(3): 307-314.
- Mulligan, R.P., Perrie, W., Toulany, B., Smith, P. Hay, A.E., and Bowen, A.J. (2011). Performance of nowcast and forecast wave models for Lunenburg Bay, NS. Atmosphere-Ocean, 49(1), doi:10.1080/07055900.2011.558468
- Mulligan, R. P., Hay, A. E., and Bowen, A. J. (2010). A wave-driven jet over a rocky shoal. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, C10038, doi:10.1029/2009JC006027.
- Mulligan, R.P., Perrie, W., and Solomon, S. (2010). Dynamics of the Mackenzie River plume on the inner Beaufort Shelf during an open water period in summer. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (89), 214-220.
- Mulligan, R.P., Hay, A.E., and Bowen, A.J. (2008). Wave-driven circulation in a coastal bay during the landfall of a hurricane. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, C05026, doi:10.1029/2007JC004500.
- Mulligan, R.P., Bowen, A. J., Hay, A.E., van der Westhuysen, A. J., and Battjes, J.A. (2008). Whitecapping and wave field evolution in a coastal bay. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, C03008, doi:10.1029/2007JC004382.
Neville Berard (Queen’s, M.A.Sc.) - Effect of infragravity waves on beach response to storms (co-supervised with Dr.Ana da Silva)
Matthew McCombs (Queen’s, M.A.Sc. ) - Wave transformation and circulation in Lake Ontario (co-supervised with Dr.Leon Boegman)
Gregory Clunies (Queen’s, M.A.Sc.) - Tidal hydrodynamics in Pamlico Sound NC over the Holocene
Logan Ashall (Queen’s, M.A.Sc.) - Suspended sediments in the Cornwallis Estuary of the Bay of Fundy
Matthew Brown (East Carolina, M.Sc) - Transport of dissolved materials in estuarine systems (co-supervised with Dr.Richard Miller)
Kelli Moran (East Carolina, M.Sc.) - The geolomorphic evolution of Currituck Sound, NC (co-supervised with Dr. David Mallinson)
Jing Tao (Dalhousie, M.Sc.) - Sediment transport in Minas Basin, the Bay of Fundy, NS (co-supervised with Dr. Paul Hill)
I currently have positions available for Master's or PhD students to start in 2013. Please contact me for more information.