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Christopher Wolfe

Associate Professor



- Oregon State University

Research Topics:

Physical oceanography, large-scale circulation: theory and modeling.

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  • Bio/Research


    Effect of ocean circulation on climate; large-scale ocean circulation, overturning circulation, and deep stratification; mesoscale eddies and the effect on the large-scale circulation; ocean modeling; predictability and forecasting; nonlinear dynamics in geophysical flows; buoyancy driven currents and their instabilities.

  • Publications


    1. Wolfe, C. L., P. Cessi, and B. D. Cornuelle, 2017: An intrinsic mode of interannual variability in the Indian Ocean.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   47  (3), 701–719, doi: 10.1175/jpo-d-16-0177.1.
    2. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2015: Multiple regimes and low-frequency variability in the quasi-adiabatic overturning circulation.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   45  (6), 1690–1708, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-14-0095.1.
    3. Wolfe, C. L., 2014: Approximations to the ocean’s residual circulation in arbitrary tracer coordinates.   Ocean Modell.,   75, 20–35, doi: 10.1016/j.ocemod.2013.12.004.
    4. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2014: Salt feedback in the adiabatic overturning circulation.  J. Phys. Oceanogr. ,   44  (4), 1175–1194, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-13-0154.1.
    5. Young, W. R., and   C. L. Wolfe, 2014: Generation of ripples by shear-flow instability.   J. Fluid Mech.,   739, 276–307, doi: 10.1017/jfm.2013.617.
    6. Cessi, P., and   C. L. Wolfe, 2013: Adiabatic eastern boundary currents.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   43  (6), 1127–1149, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-12-0211.1.
    7. Norwood, A., E. Kalnay, K. Ide, S.-C. Yang, and   C. Wolfe, 2013: Lyapunov, singular and bred vectors in a multi-scale system: an empirical exploration of vectors related to instabilities.   J. Phys. A: Math. Theor.,   46  (25), 254 021, doi: 10.1088/1751-8113/46/25/254021.
    8. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2011: The adiabatic pole-to-pole overturning circulation.  J. Phys. Oceanogr. ,   41  (9), 1795–1810, doi: 10.1175/2011JPO4570.1.
    9. Cessi, P.,   C. L. Wolfe, and B. C. Ludka, 2010: Eastern-boundary contribution to the residual and meridional overturning circulations.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   40  (9), 2075–2090, doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4426.1.
    10. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2010: What sets the strength of the mid-depth stratification and overturning circulation in eddying ocean models?   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   40  (7), 1520–1538, doi: 10.1175/2010JPO4393.1.
    11. Cessi, P., and   C. L. Wolfe, 2009: Eddy-driven buoyancy gradients on eastern boundaries and their role in the thermocline.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   39  (7), 1595–1614, doi: 10.1175/2009JPO4063.1.
    12. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2009: Overturning in an eddy-resolving model: The effect of the pole-to-pole temperature gradient.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   39  (1), 125–142, doi: 10.1175/2008JPO3991.1.
    13. Wolfe, C. L., P. Cessi, J. L. McClean, and M. E. Maltrud, 2008: Vertical heat flux in eddying ocean models.   Geophys. Res. Lett.,   35, L23 605, doi: 10.1029/2008GL036138.
    14. Wolfe, C. L., and R. M. Samelson, 2008: Singular vectors and time-dependent normal modes of a baroclinic wave-mean oscillations.   J. Atmos. Sci.,   65  (3), 875–894, doi: 10.1175/2007JAS2364.1.
    15. Wolfe, C. L., and R. M. Samelson, 2007: An efficient method for recovering Lyapunov vectors from singular vectors.   Tellus,   59A (3), 355–366, doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0870.2007.00234.x.
    16. Wolfe, C. L., and C. Cenedese, 2006: Laboratory experiments on eddy generation by a buoyant coastal current flowing over variable bathymetry.   J. Phys. Oceanogr.,   36  (3), 395–411, doi: 10.1175/JPO2857.1.
    17. Wolfe, C. L., and R. M. Samelson, 2006: Normal-mode analysis of a baroclinic wave-mean oscillation.   J. Atmos. Sci.,   63  (11), 2795–2812, doi: 10.1175/JAS3788.1.
    18. Samelson, R. M., and   C. L. Wolfe, 2003: A nonlinear baroclinic wave-mean oscillation with multiple normal-mode instabilities.   J. Atmos. Sci.,   60  (9), 1186–1199, doi: 10.1175/1520-0469(2003)060<1186:ANBWOW>2.0.CO;2.


    Wolfe, C. L., 2006: Quantifying linear disturbance growth in periodic and aperiodic systems. Oregon State University dissertation.

    Wolfe, C. L., 2003: Eddy generation by flow over variable topography. WHOI Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer School Proceedings, Volume 2003.

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