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                Research topics

Transition to turbulence in jets and vortices
Turbulent Lagrangian dispersion
Topographic waves
Effects of topography on plankton dynamics
2D and quasi-2D turbulence
Tropical cyclones
Nonlinear Ekman effects - Theory, experiments and simulations
Experiments and simulations on rotating flows over variable topography
Vortices against walls


Transition to turbulence in jets and vortices

López Zazueta, A., Zavala Sansón, L., 2018.
Self-oscillations of a two-dimensional shear flow with forcing and dissipation
Phys. Fluids, 30, 144101. pdf

González Vera, A. S., Zavala Sansón, L., 2015. 

The evolution of a continuously forced shear flow in a closed rectangular. 

Phys. Fluids, 27, 034106.  pdf

Cruz Gómez, R. C., L. Zavala Sansón, y M. A. Pinilla, 2013.
Generation of isolated vortices in a rotating fluid by means of an electromagnetics method. 

Exp. Fluids, 54(8): 1582.  pdf

Laboratory experiment on vortex formation in a shallow shear layer (González Vera and Zavala Sansón, 2015).

Generation of shallow-water vortices by electromagnetic methods (Cruz Gómez et al., 2013).

Turbulent Lagrangian dispersion

Flores Ramírez, L. M. and Zavala Sansón, L., 2019. Two-dimensional turbulence dispersion in a closed domain: Influence of confinement and geometry. AIP Advances 9, 035302 pdf
Zavala Sansón, L., J. Sheinbaum, and P. Pérez-Brunius, 2018.

Single-particle statistics in the southern Gulf of Mexico.  
Geofís. Int., 57(2), 139-150 pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., P. Pérez-Brunius and J. Sheinbaum, 2017.

Surface relative dispersion in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.  
J, Phys. Oceanogr., 47(2), 387-403. pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., P. Pérez-Brunius and J. Sheinbaum, 2017.

Point source dispersion of surface drifters in the southern Gulf of Mexico.  
Environ. Res. Lett. 12, 024006. pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., 2015.
Surface dispersion in the Gulf of California. 
Progress in Oceanography, 137, A, 24-37. pdf

Andrade Canto, F., J. Sheinbaum Pardo and L. Zavala Sansón, 2013. 

A Lagrangian approach to the loop currrent eddy separation. 

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 20(1): 85-96.  pdf



Surface drifter buoy trajectories and altimetry surfaces (Zavala Sansón et al., 2017a).


Dispersion ellipses in the southern Gulf of Mexico (Zavala Sansón et al., 2017b).


Zavala Sansón, L. and A. González-Villanueva, 2017.
Allometric scaling laws derived from symmetric tree networks.
arXiv:1710.01808 [physics.soc-ph]

González-Villanueva, L. Zavala Sansón,  2015.

Tree-like branching networks and allometric laws.

Int. J. Complex Systems in Science, 5(1), 3741. pdf

Topographic waves

 Flores Vidal, X., R. Durazo, L. Zavala Sansón, P. Flament, C. Chavanne, F. J. Ocampo Torres, C. Reyes, 2014. Evidence of inertially generated coastal trapped waves in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119, 3121-3133. pdf

Zavala Sansón, L. 2012. 
Simple models of coastal-trapped waves based on the shape of the bottom  topography.

J. Phys. Oceanogr., 42, 420-429.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., 2010.
Solutions of barotropic waves around seamounts.  
J. Fluid Mech., 661, 32-44.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L.,  2010
Solutions of continental shelf waves based on the shape of the bottom  topography
The Ocean,The Wine and The Valley: The Lives of Antoine BadanChapter 2, p. 103-130. Editors: E. Pavía, J. Sheinbaum, J. Candela. CICESE, Ensenada, México.  pdf

Analytical solutions of the relative vorticity and velocity fields of topographic waves around seamounts (Zavala Sansón, 2010).
Effects of topography on plankton dynamics

Zavala Sansón, L. and A. Provenzale,  2009. 
The effects of abrupt topography on plankton dynamics.
Theoret. Popul. Biol., 76, 258-267.  pdf

NPZ fields during the collision of a cyclonic vortex over a submarine mountain (Zavala Sansón and Provenzale, 2009).

2D and quasi-2D turbulence

Tenreiro, M., R. R. Trieling , L. Zavala Sansón, y G. J. F. van Heijst,  2013. 

Preferential states of rotating turbulent flows in a square container with a step topography. 

Phys. Fluids, 25, 015109.  pdf  

Tenreiro, M., Zavala Sansón, L., G. J. F. van Heijst and R. R. Trieling,  2010. 
Experiments and simulations on self-organization of confined quasi-two-dimensional turbulent flows with discontinuous topography.  
Phys. Fluids, 22, 025101.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., A. Gonzalez-Villanueva and L. M. Flores,  2010. 
Evolution and decay of a rotating flow over random topography.  
J. Fluid Mech., 642, 159-180.  pdf 

Zavala Sansón, L. and J. Sheinbaum,  2008. 
Elementary properties of the enstrophy and strain fields in confined two-dimensional flows.  
Eur. J. Mech. B/Fluids, 27, 54-61.  pdf


Long-term, mean spatial vorticity distribution of turbulent flows in the presence of a topographic step for geometries with different aspect ratios (Tenreiro et al. 2013).

 2dt-topo          2dt-vorf   

Left: Random bottom topography used in shallow-water simulations. Right: Long-term, quasi-steady state of the relative vorticity field of a freely-evolving flow over the topography. Note that cyclonic-red (anticyclonic-blue) vorticity lies over deeper-blue (shallower-red) regions (Zavala Sansón et al. 2010).


Left: Vorticity surfaces calculated from a simulation in a squared domain with no-slip boundaries. Right: Corresponding surfaces of the (minus) Okubo–Weiss function (Zavala Sansón and Sheinbaum, 2008).

Tropical cyclones

Zavala Sansón, L.,  2004
The mechanical influence of continental topography on the trajectories of tropical cyclones 
near the west coast of México. 
Atmósfera, 17, 151-170.  pdf

Numerically calculated cyclone trajectories starting at points 1, 2 and 3 on the Pacific Ocean. Circles (stars) indicate simulations on a beta-plane with (without) the idealised continental topography (indicated with closed contours). 

Nonlinear Ekman effects - Theory, experiments and simulations

Zavala Sansón, L.,  2003
The two-dimensional character of spin-up in a rectangular container. 
Phys. Fluids, 15, 1811-1814.   pdf

Zavala Sansón, L.,  and G. J. F. van Heijst,  2002. 
Ekman effects in a rotating fluid over bottom topography. 
J. Fluid Mech., 471, 239-256.   

Zavala Sansón, L.,  2001
The asymmetric Ekman decay of cyclonic and anticyclonic vortices. 
Eur. J. Mech. B/Fluids, 20, 541-556.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., G. J. F. van Heijst y N. A. Backx, 2001. 
Ekman decay of a dipolar vortex in a rotating fluid. 
Phys. Fluids, 13, 440-451.   

Zavala Sansón, L., and G. J. F. van Heijst, 2000. 
Nonlinear Ekman effects in rotating barotropic flows. 
J. Fluid Mech., 412, 75-91.  


Vorticity-transport function formulation of the shallow-water dynamics in a rotating system with variable topography and nonlinear Ekman effects (Zavala Sansón and van Heijst, 2002).


Left: Deflected trajectory of a dipolar vortex due to nonlinear Ekman effects. Right: Straight trajectory when using linear Ekman damping (Zavala Sansón et al. 2001).

Experiments and simulations on rotating flows over variable topography

Zavala Sansón, L., y G. J. F. van Heijst, 2014.

Laboratory experiments on flows over bottom topography.

Modelling Atmospheric and Oceanic flows: insights from laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. Editors: T. von Larcher and P. Williams. Wiley. pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., A. Barbosa Aguiar and G. J. F. van Heijst,  2012.

Horizontal and vertical motions of barotropic vortices over a submarine mountain.

J. Fluid Mech., 695, 173-198.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L. 2007. 
The long-time decay of rotating homogeneous flows over variable topography. 
Dyn. Atmos. Oceans, 44, 29-50.  pdf

Tenreiro, M., Zavala Sansón, L. and G. J. F. van Heijst,  2006. 
Interaction of dipolar vortices with a step-like topography. 
Phys. Fluids, 18, 056603.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L.,  R. Serravall, G. F. Carnevale and  G. J. F. van Heijst,  2005. 
Experiments and simulations on coastal flows in presence of a topographic slope. 
J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 2204-2218. 

Zavala Sansón, L.,  R. Serravall, G. F. Carnevale and  G. J. F. van Heijst,  2005. 
Experiments and simulations on coastal flows in presence of a topographic slope. 
J. Phys. Oceanogr., 35, 2204-2218. 

Zavala Sansón, L.,  2002
Vortex-ridge interaction in a rotating fluid. 
Dyn. Atmos. Oceans, 35, 299-325. 

Zavala Sansón, L., G. J. F. van Heijst and J. J. J. Doorschot, 1999. 
Reflection of barotropic vortices from a step-like topography. 
Il Nuovo Cimento C,  22, 909-929.  


Relative vorticity measured in two laboratory experiments of cyclonic vortices (red surfaces) around a seamount in the Coriolis rotating platform at LEGI-Grenoble (Zavala Sansón et al., 2012).

Top view photographs showing the reflection of a cyclonic vortex from a step-down topography. The vortex is visualised with bright dye. The step is indicated with a vertical (Zavala Sansón et al. 1999).

Vortices against walls

Zavala Sansón, L., G. J. F. van Heijst and F. J. J. Janssen, 1999. 
Experiments on barotropic vortex-wall interaction on a topographic beta plane. 
J. Geophys. Res., 104, 10917-10932.  pdf

Zavala Sansón, L., F. Graef, and E. G. Pavía, 1998. 
Collision of anticyclonic, lens-like eddies with a meridional western boundary. 
J. Geophys. Res.,103, 24881-24890.  pdf