Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Robert Arthur

Postdoctoral Appointment
Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division

 +1 925-422-2481

Ph.D. Civil & Environmental Engineering
Stanford University
M.Sc. Civil & Environmental Engineering
Stanford University
B.S. Engineering Science
University of Virginia

Research Interests

Turbulence is important to the dynamics of many environmental flows because it controls processes such as transport, mixing and dispersion, and energy dissipation. However, the small spatial and temporal scale of turbulent motions makes them challenging to represent in numerical models – turbulent scales must be explicitly resolved with high-resolution or modeled accurately.

My research takes advantage of recent advances in high-performance computing (HPC) to gain insights into turbulent flows in both the ocean and atmosphere, focusing specifically on stably stratified flows. My PhD focused on breaking internal waves on slopes in the coastal ocean, where turbulence is important for mixing heat and biological scalars (nutrients, sediment, etc.). My first postdoc, at UC Berkeley, focused on modeling stably stratified atmospheric flows over complex mountain terrain using WRF. At LLNL, I continue to study turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer, now focusing on surface parameterizations in WRF. This work has application to wind farm modeling, where realistic simulations can be used to predict energy output and turbine durability, and to contaminant dispersion modeling.

Honors and Awards

  • Best Student Talk, Eastern Pacific Ocean Conference, 2014
  • Stanford Centennial Teaching Assistant Award, 2013
  • Robert L. Wiegel Scholarship for Coastal Studies, 2012
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship, 2010


Arthur, R. S., Lundquist, K. A., Mirocha, J. D., and Chow, F. K. (2018) Topographic effects on radiation in the WRF model with the immersed boundary method: implementation, validation, and application to complex terrain, Monthly Weather Review, 146(10), 3277-3292, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-18-0108.1.

Arthur, R. S., Venayagamoorthy, S. K., Koseff, J. R., and Fringer, O. B. (2017) How we compute N matters to estimates of mixing in stratified flows, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 831, R2, 1-10, doi:10.1017/jfm.2017.679.

Masunaga, E., Arthur, R.S., Fringer, O.B., and Yamazaki, H. (2017) Sediment resuspension and the generation of intermediate nepheloid layers by shoaling internal bores, Journal of Marine Systems, 170, 31-41, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2017.01.017.

Arthur, R.S., Koseff, J.R., and Fringer, O.B. (2017) Local versus volume-integrated turbulence and mixing in breaking internal waves on slopes, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 815, 169-198, doi:10.1017/jfm.2017.36.

Arthur, R.S. and Fringer, O.B. (2016) Transport by breaking internal gravity waves on slopes, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 789, 93-126. doi:10.1017/jfm.2015.723.

Cortés, A., Wells, M.G., Fringer, O.B., Arthur, R.S., and Rueda, F.J. (2015) Numerical investigation of split flows by gravity currents into two-layered stratified water bodies, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120, 5254-5271, doi:10.1002/2015JC010722.

Arthur, R.S. and Fringer, O.B. (2014) The dynamics of breaking internal solitary waves on slopes, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 761, 360-398, doi:10.1017/jfm.2014.641.

Walter, R.K., Woodson, C.B., Arthur, R.S., Fringer, O.B., and Monismith, S.G. (2012) Nearshore internal bores and turbulent mixing in southern Monterey Bay, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 117, C07017, doi:10.1029/2012JC008115.

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