Faculty Profile

Dr. Philip Orton

Building: Davidson Laboratory
Room: 209
Phone: 201.216.8095
Fax: 201.216.8214
Email: [email protected]
School:  Schaefer School of Engineering & Science
Department:  Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering
Laboratory:  Davidson Laboratory

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


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 enjoy living and working in a metro region with 20 million people mostly living on islands like Manhattan, and more affected by the ocean than many ever realized.  I’m a research assistant professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, and 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.

Selected Publications
  1. 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.
  2. Orton, P. M., and Jay, D. A.. (2005). "Observations at the tidal plume front of a high-volume river outflow", Geophysical Research Letters.
  3. Orton, P.M. and Visbeck, M.. (2009). "Variability of internally generated turbulence in an estuary, from 100 days of continuous observations", Continental Shelf Research.
  4. Orton, P. M., Zappa, C.J., and McGillis, W.R. (2010). "Tidal and atmospheric influences on near-surface turbulence in an estuary", Journal of Geophysical Research,  online  .
  5. Orton, P.M., McGillis, W.R., and Zappa, C.. (2010). "Sea breeze forcing of estuary turbulence and CO2 exchange", Geophysical Research Letters,  online  .
  6. 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", Journal of Geophysical Research,  online  .