Nicolas Mordant was awarded a Consolidator grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to pursue his “WATU” research program about Wave Turbulence.

When waves with a sufficient amplitude develop, they can interact and exchange energy from the larger scales to the smaller scales.

This wave turbulence occurs in the oceans for instance, where water layers of different salinity or temperature are subjected to the propagation of 3D internal waves driven by gravity and Coriolis forces. Because these forces play a key role in mixing the density profiles and dissipating the energy in the oceans, the propagation of these waves has to be accurately parameterised in numerical simulations for weather forecast or climate predictions purposes.


The Weak Turbulence Theory is a likely candidate for an efficient parametrisation but it seriously lacks experimental support.


Nicolas Mordant was awarded a 2 million euro grant to develop an ambitious research program in which a number of experimental systems will be used to generate controlled wave turbulence. Increasingly complex configurations, ranging from 1D to 3D wave propagation, will be studied thanks to the unique experimental facilities of the LEGI laboratory.

One of the key challenges will be to obtain space- and time-resolved measurements in order to capture the full dynamics of wave turbulence in all these systems and finely describe the energy transfers.

As part of this project, 2 PhD positions are open.


Nicolas Mordant



Nicolas Mordant
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