Professor Tom Rippeth

Photograph of Prof Tom Rippeth


Having graduated from Reading University (Physics and Meteorology) I moved to Bangor in 1987 to undertake an MSc followed by a PhD in Physical Oceanography. I was awarded my PhD on "Controls on stratification in a fjordic system" in 1994. Following a spell at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Vancouver Island I returned to Bangor and was awarded Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) Post Doctoral and then Advanced fellowships. In 2007 I was appointed a Senior Lecturer at the School of Ocean Sciences and was promoted to Reader in 2009. I was awarded a personal Chair from 1st February 2014.

Research Interests

The Ocean plays a key role in the Earth's climate system, converting the sun's rays into the infrared radiation which warms the atmosphere (through the greenhouse effect). It is also a major sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide, acting to partly off-set anthropogenic emissions. Ocean currents play a key role in distributing heat around the atmosphere, in particular transporting heat gained in the tropics to the high latitude, where it is lost to the atmosphere creating more temperate weather in regions such as the UK. The focus of my research is the identification, quantification and parameterisation of the key physical processes which drive fluxes across the critical interfaces within and at the surface of the ocean. The accurate representation of these processes is essential in weather and climate models as it is the control on exchange at these critical interfaces which will determine the interactions and feedbacks between the terrestrial, oceanic and atmospheric components of the Earth System.

The work I do is strongly underpinned through technical developments in our ability to measure turbulence in the ocean. The Bangor Turbulence and Mixing group, of which I am a member, are the European leaders in the development and implementation of novel techniques for the measurement of turbulent fluxes within the marine environment.

We are currently using these techniques, in parallel modelling studies, to improve understanding of the melting of Arctic Sea ice and the exchange of heat between the ocean and the atmosphere. Both of these studies are aimed at improving seasonal weather forecasts.

Additionally techniques we have developed for measuring time series of turbulence in the marine environment are now used globally in site assessments for major marine renewable energy projects.

I am a member of 5 NERC Consortia (worth over £20 million) and hold one NERC standard grant, having previously held 6 NERC standard and 2 NERC small grants, 2 NERC fellowships and have received additional funding from the EU and the Leverhulme Trust.


Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

Rippeth, Tom P., Ben J. Lincoln, Yueng-Djern Lenn, J. A. Mattias Green, Arild Sundfjord and Sheldon Bacon (2015).
Tide-mediated warming of Arctic halocline by Atlantic heat fluxes over rough topography. Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2350

Rumyantseva A., Lucas N., Rippeth T., Henson S., Martin A. and Painter S., Boyd, TJ and Henson, S (2015).
Ocean nutrient pathways associated with passage of a storm. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29, doi:10.1002/2015GB005097.
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Lucas, N. S. , Simpson, J. H., Rippeth, T. P. and Old, C. P. (2014)
Measuring turbulent dissipation using a tethered ADCP. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. 31 (8). pp. 1826-1837.

Mead Silvester, J., Y.-D. Lenn, J. A. Polton, T. P. Rippeth, and M. Morales Maqueda (2014)
Observations of a diapycnal shortcut to adiabatic upwelling of Antarctic Circumpolar Deep Water, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 7950-7956.
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Rippeth, TP; Lincoln, BJ; Kennedy, HA; Palmer, MR; Sharples, J; Williams, CAJ (2014).
Impact of vertical mixing on sea surface pCO2 in temperate seasonally stratified shelf seas. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 06/2014; DOI: 10.1002/2014JC01008.

Brannigan, Liam; Lenn, Yueng-Djern; Rippeth, Tom P.; Elaine McDonagh, TK Chereskin and Janet Sprintall (2013)
Shear at the Base of the Oceanic Mixed Layer Generated by Wind Shear Alignment. Journal of Physical Oceanography Volume: 43 Issue: 8 Pages: 1798-1810 DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-12-0104.1

Palmer, M. R., Polton, J., Inall, M. E., Rippeth, T. P., Green, J. A. M, Sharples, J. and Simpson, J. H. 2013
Variable behavior in pycnocline mixing over shelf seas. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, doi:10.1029/2012GL054638.

Williams, C. A. J., Sharples, J., Green, J. A. M., Mahaffey, C., and Rippeth, T. P. 2013
Mixing-driven nutrient fluxes and new production in a seasonally stratified shelf sea. L&O Fluids and Environment, 3, 61-73.

Williams, C., Sharples, J., Mahaffey, C. and Rippeth, T. (2013)
Wind driven nutrient pulses to the subsurface chlorophyll maximum in seasonally stratified shelf seas Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058171

MT Stacey, TP Rippeth, JD Nash (2012).
Turbulence and Stratification in Estuaries and Coastal Seas. Treatise on Estuaries and Coastal Science, 2, 9-35. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-374711

Howlett, Eleanor R., TP Rippeth and J Howarth (2011).
Processes contributing to the evolution and destruction of stratification in the Liverpool Bay ROFI. Ocean Dynamics, 61(9): 1403-1419. doi 10.1007/s10236-011-0402-y

Yueng-Djern Lenn, Tom P. Rippeth, Chris P. Old, Sheldon Bacon, Igor Polyakov, Vladimir Ivanov, Jens Hölemann (2011).
Intermittent Intense Turbulent Mixing under Ice in the Laptev Sea Continental Shelf. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 41(3), 531-547

Verspecht, F., J. H. Simpson, and T. P. Rippeth (2010).
Semi-diurnal tidal ellipse variability in a region of freshwater influence. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L18602, doi:10.1029/2010GL044470.

Green, J. A. M., J.H.Simpson, S.A.Thorpe and T.P.Rippeth (2009).
Observations of internal tidal waves in the isolated seasonally stratified region of the western Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2009.11.004

Green, J.A.M., Green, C.L., Bigg, G.R., Rippeth, T.P., Scourse, J.D. and Uehara, K. 2009.
Tidal mixing and the strength of the Meridional Overturning Circulation from the Last Glacial Maximum. Geophysical Research Letters 36, L15603
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Moum, J.N., T.P. Rippeth (2009)
Do observations adequately resolve the natural variability of oceanic turbulence? Journal of Marine Systems, 77, 409-417.

TP Rippeth, P Wiles, MR Palmer, J Sharples and J Tweddle (2009).
The diapcynal nutrient flux and shear-induced diapcynal mixing in the seasonally stratified western Irish Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 29, 1580 -1587.

Verspecht, F., Rippeth, T. P., Simpson, J. H., Souza, A. J., Burchard, H. and Howarth, M. J. (2009)
Residual circulation and stratification in the Liverpool Bay region of freshwater influence. Ocean Dynamics, 59, 765-779

Verspecht, F., T. P. Rippeth, M. J. Howarth, A. J. Souza, J. H. Simpson, and H. Burchard (2009),
Processes impacting on stratification in a region of freshwater influence: Application to Liverpool Bay, J. Geophys. Res., 114, C11022

Yueng-Djern Lenn, Wiles, P. J., Torres-Valdes, S., Abrahamsen, E. P., Rippeth, T. P., Simpson, J. H., Bacon, S., Laxon, S. W., Polyakov, I., Ivanov, V., Kirillov, S. (2009)
Vertical mixing at intermediate depths in the Arctic boundary current. Geophysical Research Letters, 36 (5). 5, pp. doi:10.1029/2008GL036792

J. H. Simpson, J. A. M. Green, T. P. Rippeth, T. R. Osborn, W. A. M. Nimmo-Smith (2009).
The structure of dissipation in the western Irish Sea front. Journal of Marine Systems, 77, 428-440.

Burchard, H and Rippeth, TP (2008)
Generation of bulk shear spikes in shallow stratified tidal seas. Journal of Physical Oceanography 39, 969-985

Rippeth, T. P., J. D. Scourse, K. Uehara, and S. McKeown (2008)
The impact of sea-level rise over the last deglacial transition on the strength of the continental shelf CO2 pump. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L24604, doi:10.1029/2008GL035880. (AGU Highlighted paper).

Burchard, H., P.D. Craig, J.R. Gemmrich, H. van Haren, P.-P. Mathieu, H.E.M. Meier, W. A.M. Nimmo Smith, H. Prandke, T.P. Rippeth, E.D. Skyllingstad, W.D. Smyth, D.J.S. Welsh, and H.W. Wijesekera (2008).
Observational and numerical modelling methods for quantifying coastal ocean turbulence and mixing. Progress in Oceanography, 76, 399-442.

Palmer, M. R., T. P. Rippeth, and J. H. Simpson (2008)
An investigation of internal mixing in a seasonally stratified shelf sea. J. Geophys. Res., 113, C12005, doi:10.1029/2007JC004531

J. Sharples, J. F. Tweddle, J. A. M. Green, M. R. Palmer, Y-N. Kim, A. E. Hickman, P. M. Holligan, C. M. Moore, T. P. Rippeth, J. H. Simpson, and V. Krivtsov, 2007
Spring-Neap modulation of internal tide mixing and vertical nutrient fluxes at a shelf edge in summer. Limnology and Oceanography 52, 1735-1757.

Wiles, P.J., Rippeth, T.P., Simpson, J.H. and Hendricks, P.J. (2006)
A novel technique for measuring the rate of turbulent dissipation in the marine environment. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L21608, doi:10.1029/2006GL027050

Inall, M., Rippeth, T., Griffiths, C. and Wiles, P. (2005)
Evolution and distribution of TKE production and dissipation within stratified flow over topography. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L08607, doi: 10.1029/2004GL022289.

Rippeth, T.P. (2005b)
Mixing in seasonally stratified shelf seas: a shifting paradigm. Phil. Trans. Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 363, 2837-2854.

Rippeth, T.P., Palmer, M.R., Simpson, J.H., Fisher, N.R. and Sharples, J. (2005)
Thermocline mixing in summer stratified continental shelf seas. Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L05602, doi: 10.1029/20004GL022104.

Arneborg, L., Janzen, C., Liljebladh, B., Rippeth, T.P., Simpson, J.H. and Stigebrandt, A. (2004)
Spatial variability of diapycnal mixing and turbulent dissipation rates in a stagnant fjord basin. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 34, 1679-1691.

Inall, M., Cottier, F., Griffiths, C. and Rippeth. T.P. (2004)
Sill dynamics and energy transformation in a jet fjord. Ocean Dynamics, 54, 307-314.

Rippeth, T.P., J.H. Simpson, E. Williams and M.E. Inall (2003)
Measurement of the Rates of Production and Dissipation of Turbulent Kinetic
Energy in an Energetic Tidal Flow: Red Wharf Bay Revisited.
Journal of Physical Oceanography 33(9), 1889-1901.

Rippeth, T.P., J.H. Simpson, E. Williams and ME Inall. (2003).
Measurement of the Rates of Production and Dissipation of Turbulent Kinetic Energy in an Energetic Tidal Flow: Red Wharf Bay Revisited. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 33, 1889 - 1901.

Moore, C.M. Suggett D., Holligan P.M., Sharples J. Abraham M.I., Luca M.I., Rippeth T.P., Fisher N.R., Simpson J.H. and Hydes D.J. (2003)
Physical controls on phytoplankton physiology and production at a shelf sea front: a fast repetition-rate fluorometer based field study.
Marine Ecology Progress Series

Rippeth T.P., E. Williams and J.H. Simpson (2002)
Reynolds stress and turbulent energy production in a tidal channel
Journal of Physical Oceanography 32, 1242-1251.

Burchard H., Bolding K., T.P. Rippeth, Stipps A., Simpson J.H. and Sundermann J.(2002)
Microstructure of turbulence in the northern North Sea: a comparative study of observations and model simulations.
Journal of Sea Research 47,223-238.

Rippeth T.P, J.H. Simpson, R.J. Player and M. Garcia.(2002)
Current Oscillations in the diurnalinertial band on the Catalonian Shelf in Spring.
Continental Shelf Research 22, 247-265.

Rippeth, T.P. and M.E. Inall. (2002).
Observations of the internal tide and associated mixing across the Malin Shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107(C4), 10.1029/2000JC000761.

Simpson J.H., H. Burchard, N.R.Fisher and T.P.Rippeth (2002)
The semi-diurnal cycle of dissipation in a ROFI: model-measurement comparisons
Continental Shelf Research 22, 1615-1628

Simpson, J.H., P. Hyder, T.P. Rippeth and I.M. Lucas (2002)
Forced oscillations near the critical latitude for diurnal-inertial resonance
Journal of Physical Oceanography, 32(1),177-187.

Midgley, R.P., Simpson, J.H., Hyder, P. and Rippeth, T.P. (2001)
Seasonal cycle of vertical structure and deep water renewal in the Clyde. Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 53, 813–823.

Rippeth, T.P., Fisher, N.R. and Simpson, J.H. (2001)
The cycle of turbulent dissipation in the presence of tidal straining. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 31, 2458–2471.

Sharples, J., Moore, C.M., Rippeth, T.P., Holligan, P.M., Hydes, D.J., Fisher, N.R. and Simpson, J.H. (2001)
Phytoplankton distribution and survival in the thermocline. Limnology and Oceanography, 46(3), 486–496.

Inall, M.I., Rippeth, T.P. and Sherwin, T.J. (2000)
The impact of non–linear waves on the dissipation of internal tidal energy at a shelf break. Journal of Geophysical Research, 105, 8687–8705.

Simpson, J.H., Rippeth, T.P. and Campbell, A.R. (2000)
The phase lag of turbulent dissipation in tidal flow. Interactions between Estuaries, Coastal Seas and Shelf Seas (ed. T. Yanagi). Terra Scientific Publishing, Tokyo, pp.57–67.

Kasai, A., Rippeth, T.P. and Simpson, J.H. (1999)
Density and flow structure in the Clyde Sea front. Continental Shelf Research, 19, 1833–1848.

Burchard, H, O Peterson and TP Rippeth (1998). Comparing the performance of the Mellor-Yamada and the k-e 2-equation turbulence model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, 10543-10554.

Rippeth, T.P. and Simpson, J.H. (1998)
Diurnal signals in vertical motions on the Hebridean Shelf. Limnology and Oceanography, 43, 1690–1696.

Simpson, J.H. and Rippeth, T.P. (1998)
Non–conservative nutrient fluxes from budgets in the Irish Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Sea Science, 47, 707–714.

Rippeth, TP and J.H.Simpson (1996).
The frequency and duration of episodes of complete vertical mixing in the Clyde Sea. Continental Shelf Research, 16(7), 933- 947

Simpson, JH, W.R. Crawford, T.P. Rippeth, A.R. Campbell and J.V.S. Choak (1996).
Vertical Structure of turbulent dissipation in shelf seas. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26(8), (1996) 1580-1590.

Bowers, D.G.,T.P.Rippeth and J.H.Simpson (1991)
Tidal friction in a sea with two equal semi-diurnal tidal constituents. Continental Shelf Research, 11,203-209

Book Chapters

Rippeth, T.P. (2005a)
Vertical mixing in seasonally stratified continental shelf seas. Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Physical Processes in Natural Waters, Sept. 2005, Lancaster, UK, pp25-30.

Simpson, J.H., Rippeth, T.P., Williams, E. and Betteridge, K. (2005)
Acoustic Dopper Techniques, Chapter 15 of Marine Turbulence: Theories, Observations and Models, Cambridge University Press. 127-138.

Wiles P.J, Simpson J.H. and Rippeth T.P.(2005)
A novel technique for measuring mixing using Acoustic Doppler Current
Profilers (ADCPs). Proceedings of the IEE/OES/CMTC 8th Conference on Current Measurement Technology, 9-13.

Wiles, P.J., Simpson, J.H. and Rippeth, T.P. (2005)
A novel technique for measuring mixing using Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs). Proceedings of the IEEE/OES Eighth Working Conference on Current Measurement Technology, 1-5.

Additional Publications

Lucas, N. S., Rippeth, T. P., Palmer, M., Polton, J., Inall, M., Grant, A., Pearson, B., 2014.
Evolution of Ocean Surface Boundary Layer Turbulence during a storm measured using an Ocean Microstructure Glider. In 16th Biennial Challenger Society Marine Conference, Plymouth.

Lucas, N., Rippeth, T and Brannigan, L. (2013)
Shear driven enhancement of turbulent dissipation at the base of the surface mixed layer. In International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans (IAPSO) Joint Assembly, Gothenburg

T. P. Rippeth, J. C. Gascoigne, J. A. M. Green, M. E. Inall, M. R. Palmer, J. H. Simpson, and P. J. Wiles 2008
Comment on 'Observations of biologically generated turbulence in a coastal inlet' by Kunze et al. Science Online
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TP Rippeth, JC Gascoigne, M Green, ME Inall, MR Palmer, JH Simpson and PJ Wiles (2007)
Turbulent Dissipation of Coastal Seas, E-Letter posted on Science Online 7 June 2007.
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Rippeth, T.P. (2000)
Internal Waves ...... or something completely different. Ocean Challenge, 9(3), 32–36.

PDF copies of some of these publications are available (as indicated by hyperlinks in the list) for non-commercial research and educational purposes only. You may not use the material for commercial purposes or make multiple copies without requesting permission from the copyright holder (usually the book or journal publisher).