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Carlos Moffat

Assistant Professor


I am a physical oceanographer. My research interests are glacier-ocean interactions, the dynamics of riverine outflows, and physical-biological interactions in coastal regions. I use a combination of observations, idealized numerical models, and simplified theories to address the questions that arise in my research. Currently, I'm working in Patagonia, the Antarctic Peninsula, and a toy ocean in my computer.

Department Affiliation

Physical Ocean Science and Engineering

Current Projects 

The Ocean & Glacier Retreat
In Patagonia, we are conducting a multi-year effort to in the fjord system around the Patagonian Ice Fields, which aims to understand the magnitude, evolution, and impact of the ocean forcing. Our primary study site is Jorge Montt glacier, the fastest-retreating glacier in the fields. 

Along the west Antarctic Peninsula shelf, we are analyzing oceanographic data and developing new high-resolution shelf- and fjord-scale numerical models of a number of glacier-fjord systems along this shelf, which spans a large gradient in ocean and atmospheric conditions. We expect this will shed light on the distinct patterns of ocean heat supply and glacier retreat along the Peninsula, one of the fastest-warming regions on earth. 

River Outflows
We are interested in understanding the processes than influence the formation, time evolution, along-shore extent, and cross-shelf scale of riverine outflows in the continental shelf. 

Inner-shelf Processes in Upwelling Systems
We are currently conducting studies in the Perú-Chile upwelling system to understand the impact of wind relaxations on the temperature distribution and circulation on the inner-shelf; the role that large submarine canyons have on modulating upwelling; and how the upwelling in the open shelf modulates the supply of oxygen-poor water to semi-enclosed bays and gulfs in central Chile.

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Ph.D., MIT-WHOI Joint Program, 2007
B.S., Marine Biology, University of Concepción (Chile), 1998

Selected Publications

Sobarzo, M., Saldías, G.S., Tapia, F.J., Bravo, L., Moffat, C., Largier, J.L., 2016. On subsurface cooling associated with the Biobio River Canyon (Chile). J. Geophys. Res. Ocean. 119, 7772–7793. doi:10.1002/2016JC011796

Gutiérrez, M. H., Galand, P. E., Moffat, C. and Pantoja, S. 2015. Melting glacier impacts community structure of Bacteria, Archaea and Fungi in a Chilean Patagonia fjord. Environ Microbiol, 17: 3882–3897. doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12872

Bonicelli, J., C. Moffat, S. Navarrete, J. Largier, F. Tapia. 2014. Spatial differences in thermal structure and variability within a small bay: interplay of diurnal winds and tides. Continental Shelf Research. 84: 72-80. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2014.07.009

Prospective Students

I am always interested in hearing from prospective students. If you'd like to join us at UD, don't hesitate to contact me and check the educational programs at CEOE.

All Publications
publication list

A list of all publications can be found here.

Geophysical Research Letters

Wind-driven modulation of warm water supply to a proglacial fjord, Jorge Montt Glacier, Patagonia


• Ocean Observation• Physical Oceanography


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography: 302-831-2294 • Geology: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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