Argon-Ion laser with color separator for Laser Doppler Velocimetry. In this application, the beam is intercepted ahead of the color separator and directed to a scanning mirror for planar laser induced fluorescence. Experimental setup by graduate student D.-G. Seol.

Research Interests

My research is in the broad area of Environmental Fluid Mechanics, with emphasis on laboratory experiments and data analysis to elucidate mixing mechanisms by turbulence and coherent structures. Current research projects study turbulent mixing processes in three contexts: (1) multiphase plumes, (2) shallow tidal inlets, and (3) coastal wetlands.


Environmental Fluid Mechanics, multiphase flow, direct ocean carbon sequestration, reservoir management, stratified fluids, shallow flow stability, shallow starting jet vortices, tidal inlet mixing, wetland hydrodynamics, aquatic vegetation.


Work related to the Deepwater Horizon (see also Announcements below) is summarized in the linked AGU Ocean Sciences Poster and Plume Animation.

Current Projects

(For a full listing of recent projects, visit my Projects. Students working on this research are listed with my Research Group.)

  1. Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. PI: S. Murawski, Chief Scientist: D. Hollander, Co-PIs: S. A. Socolofsky with 16 other Co-PIs. (2014-2016). "Center for Integrated Modeling and Analysis of the Gulf Ecosystem (C-IMAGE II)," led by the University of South Florida. Socolofsky's part applies the Texas A&M Oilspill Calculator (TAMOC) to study the range of potential subsea blowout types and their impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Socolofsky provides predictions of chemical exposure used by biologists in the project to assess risk and effects.
  2. Department of Homeland Security. PI: D. Causey, Co-PIs: S. A. Socolofsky is Co-PI with Thomas Ravens (UA Anchorage) on one of 13 projects with the DHS Center of Excellence. (2016-2017). "Arctic Oil Spill Modeling," one project with the DHS Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) Center of Excellence. Develops new algorithms for predicting oil interaction with ice and will couple those algorithms both to the Texas A&M Oilspill Calculator (TAMOC) and the General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME).
  3. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory. PI: S. A. Socolofsky
    (2016-2019). "Dynamic Behavior of Natural Seep Vents: Analysis of Field and Laboratory Observations and Modeling." Analyzes laboratory data from the High Pressure Water Tunnel by DOE/NETL and field data collected in the Gulf of Mexico by the Gulf Integrated Spill Research (GISR) Consortium to understand the role of hydrate armoring on mass transfer from natural gas bubbles in the deep ocean to predict the vertical transport of gas from natural seeps. See the fourth project listed on the DOE/NETL Press Release.
  4. Texas General Land Office. PI: Ben Hodges (UT), Co-PIs: S. A. Socolofsky and Kristen Thyng (2015-2017). "Advanced oil transport modeling across the bay/coastal continuum." Develops Fine Resolution Environmental Hydro Dynamics (FREHD) simulations of laboratory experiment conducted by Co-PI Socolofsky for mixing through idealize tidal inlets. Integrates bay and open-coast models using particle tracking and sub-grid-scale modeling for mixing at the inlet mouth.

Recent Papers

(For a full publication list, see my Publications pages.)

  1. Socolofsky, S. A., Adams, E. Eric, Paris, C., and Yang, D., (2016), “How do oil, gas, and water interact near a subsea blowout?” Oceanography Magazine.  In press.
  2. Gros*, J., Reddy, C. M., Nelson, R. K., Socolofsky, S. A., and Arey, J. S., (2016), “Gas-liquid-water partitioning and fluid properties of petroleum mixtures under pressure:  Implications for deep-sea blowouts,” Environmental Science and Technology.  doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b04617.
  3. Wang, B. and Socolofsky, S. A., (2016), “Observations of bubbles in natural seep flares at MC 118 and GC 600 using in situ quantitative imaging,” Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans121, pp 2203-2230, doi:10.1002/2015JC011452.
  4. Di Yang, Bicheng Chen, Scott A. Socolofsky, Marcelo Chamecki and Charles Meneveau, (2016), “Large-eddy simulation and parameterization of buoyant plume dynamics in stratified flow,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 794, pp 798-833 doi:10.1017/jfm.2016.191.
  5. Fraga Bruno, B., Stoesser, T., Lai,* C. C.-H., and Socolofsky, S. A., (2016), “A LES-based Eulerian-Lagrangian approach to predict the dynamics of bubble plumes,” Ocean Modelling. 97(1), 27-36, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2015.11.005.
  6. Wang, Z., DiMarco, S., and Socolofsky, S. A., (2016), “The Role of Turbulence on Droplet Dynamics: Application to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” Deep Sea Research, Part 1109 (March), 40-50, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2015.12.013.
  7. Gandhi*, V., Bryant*, D. B., Socolofsky, S. A., Stoesser, T., and Kim*, J.-H., (2016) “Concentration based decomposition of the flow around a confined cylinder in a UV disinfection reactor,” Journal of Engineering Mechanics-ASCE. 141(12), doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)EM.1943-7889.0000959, 04015050.