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Christopher Wolfe

wolfeAssociate Professor

Ph.D., Oregon State University, 2006.
Physical oceanography, large-scale circulation: theory and modeling.
Pitt Wolfe Lab Group


Research Interests

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.


  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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