Fluid dynamics, the study of fluids in motion, lies at the heart of most questions that humans ask of the ocean. Increasing numbers of people are moving to its coastlines, yet the added stress we put on the ocean can overwhelm its benefits. Evaluating problems such as storm surges, climate change, and pollutant discharges requires a detailed knowledge of ocean, estuary, and air-sea transport processes.
I am currently a research assistant professor at Stevens Institute of Technology. My specific research interests include estuary and coastal ocean physics, storm surges and sea level rise, urban coastal adaptation, turbulent mixing, air-sea interaction and gas exchange, sediment transport, urban and coastal atmospheric science, and numerical ocean and atmospheric modeling.
20 Feb 2014: The amazing team I work with for HUD-Rebuild By Design is having a big influence on coastal protection plans for Staten Island – a wave reduction effort in this case, to compliment any possible shoreline or neighborhood efforts to adapt to coastal flooding
1 Nov 2013: I was a guest on NPR’s national show Science Friday, discussing coastal flood adaptation after Sandy
Columbia University, Ph.D., physical oceanography, dissertation
University of South Carolina, M.S., marine science (adviser: Gail Kineke)
University of Michigan, B.S., physical oceanography
PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (Google Scholar profile page)
Orton, P., N. Georgas, A. Blumberg, and J. Pullen, 2012. Detailed Modeling of Recent Severe Storm Tides in Estuaries of the New York City Region, J. Geophys. Res., 117(C9), doi:10.1029/2012JC008220. [abstract, PDF].
Harrison, E., Veron, F. Ho, D., Reid, M., Orton, P. and McGillis, W., 2012. Nonlinear interaction between rain-and wind-induced air-water gas exchange, J. Geophys. Res., 117(C3), C03034. web
Ho, D.T., Schlosser, P. and Orton, P.M., 2011. On factors controlling air-water gas exchange in a large tidal river, Estuaries and Coasts, 34:1103-1116, DOI: 10.1007/s12237-011-9396-4. web
Orton, P.M., McGillis, W.R., and Zappa, C.J., 2011. An autonomous self-orienting catamaran for measuring air-water fluxes and forcing. In: Gas Transfer at Water Surfaces, edited by S. Komori et al., Kyoto University Press. PDF
Hickey, B. M., R. M. Kudela, J. D. Nash, K. W. Bruland, W. T. Peterson, P. MacCready, E. J. Lessard, D. A. Jay, N. S. Banas, A. M. Baptista, E. P. Dever, P. M. Kosro, L. K. Kilcher, A. R. Horner-Devine, E. D. Zaron, R. M. McCabe, J. O. Peterson, P. M. Orton, J. Pan, and M. C. Lohan, 2010. River Influences on Shelf Ecosystems: Introduction and Synthesis, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2009JC005452. web
Horner-Devine, A., Jay, D.A., Orton, P.M., and Spahn, E., 2009. A conceptual model of the strongly tidal Columbia River plume. Journal of Marine Systems, 78(3): 460–475, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.11.025. web
Jay, D.A., Pan, J., Orton, P.M., and Horner-Devine, A., 2009. Asymmetry of tidal plume fronts in an eastern boundary current regime. Journal of Marine Systems, 78(3): 442-459, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.11.015. web
Orton, P.M. and Visbeck, M., 2009. Variability of internally generated turbulence in an estuary, from 100 days of continuous observations. Continental Shelf Research, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2007.07.008. PDF | web
Pan, J., Jay, D. A., and Orton, P. M., 2007. Analyses of internal solitary waves generated at the Columbia River plume front using SAR imagery, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C07014, doi:10.1029/2006JC003688. web
Jay, D. A., Orton, P. M., Chisholm, T., Wilson, D.J., and Fain, A.M.V. 2007. Particle trapping in stratified estuaries: Consequences of mass conservation. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6), 1095-1105, doi: 10.1007/BF02841399. web
Jay, D. A., Orton, P. M., Chisholm, T., Wilson, D.J., and Fain, A.M.V. 2007. Particle trapping in stratified estuaries: Application to observations. Estuaries and Coasts 30(6), 1106-1125, doi: 10.1007/BF02841400. web
Emmett, R.L, Brodeur, R.D. and Orton, P.M. 2004. The vertical distribution of juvenile salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and associated fishes in the Columbia River plume. Fisheries Oceanography 13:6, 392-402, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2004.00294.x. web
Fain, A.M.V., Jay, D. A., Wilson, D. J., Orton, P. M., and Baptista, A. M. 2001. Seasonal, monthly and tidal patterns of particulate matter dynamics in the Columbia River estuary, Estuaries 24: 770-786, doi: 10.2307/1352884. web
Orton, P.M. and Kineke, G.C. 2001. Comparing calculated and observed vertical suspended sediment distributions from a Hudson River Estuary turbidity maximum. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 52(3), 401-410, doi: 10.1006/ecss.2000.0747. PDF | web
Orton, P.M. Live television interview on Hurricane Irene, on WNBC Nightly News with Chuck Scarborough. August 25, 2011. Youtube
Higinbotham, J.R., Moisan, J. and Orton, P. 2009. Solar Powered Autonomous Surface Vehicle Development and Operation. Sea Technology 50(7).
O’Mullan, G., Orton, P., McGillis, W., Sambrotto, R., and Mailloux, B., Sniffing out the Truth, New York Times Sunday Edition, Opinions Section, January 21, 2007. PDF | web
Orton, P.M., (on climate change) Energy crisis much broader than perceived, The Oregonian, Editorial Section, January 29, 2001. PDF
Schwing, F.B., Orton, P.M., Jay, D.A., Batchelder, H. and Rosenfeld, L.K. 1999. Conference explores El Nino’s relationship to the Northeast Pacific. EOS: Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 80(11):122.