Piero Mazzini


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headshot of Piero Mazzini
Assistant Professor of Earth & Climate Sciences
Coastal Oceanography
(415) 338-3706


Research Interests
I am a coastal physical oceanographer, and my research focuses on understanding how the coastal ocean responds to winds, waves, tides, freshwater input from rivers, and the exchange processes among estuaries, continental shelf, and the deep ocean. My interests go beyond the realms of physical oceanography, and include also the role that ocean currents play on the transport and fate of sediments, oxygen, nutrients, larvae, pH, dispersion of pollutants, and how they impact water quality and the health of marine ecosystem. Understanding how the ocean behaves is key for the proper management of our coasts, especially in a climate change scenario.

The ocean is a complex chaotic system, with three dimensional properties that vary in time, in intricate and beautiful ways. In my research, I use a combination of different technologies and tools to study the coastal ocean, such as underwater gliders, moorings, shipboard data, satellite remote sensing (sea surface temperature, ocean color, winds, altimetry), High-Frequency land-based radars (measures surface currents), and numerical simulations using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS).


Additional information about my work can be found in my LAB website

Selected Papers
Mazzini, P. L. F., Chant, R. J., Scully, M. E., Wilkin, J., Hunter, E. J., & Nidzieko, N. J. 2019. The impact of wind forcing on the thermal wind shear of a river plume. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124.

Mazzini, P. L. F. and Chant, R.J. 2016. Two-dimensional circulation and mixing in the far field of a surface-advected river plume. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121, 3757-3776, doi:10.1002/2015JC011059.

Mazzini, P.L.F., C. M. Risien, J. A. Barth, S. Pierce, A. Erofeev, E. Dever, M. Kosro, M. Levine, R. K. Shearman, M. Vardaro. 2015. Anomalous near-surface low-salinity pulses off the central Oregon coast. Scientific Reports, 5, 17145, doi: 10.1038/srep17145.

Mazzini, P.L.F., J.A. Barth, R.K. Shearman, and A. Erofeev. 2014. Buoyancy-driven coastal currents off Oregon during fall and winter. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 44, 28542876, doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-14-0012.1.

Mazzini, P.L.F., and J. A. Barth. 2013. A comparison of mechanisms generating vertical transport in the Brazilian coastal upwelling regions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, 59775993, doi: 10.1002/2013JC008924.

Pianca, C., P.L.F. Mazzini, and E. Siegle. 2010. Brazilian offshore wave climate based on NWW3 reanalysis. Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, vol.58, n.1, pp. 53-70 .

Mazzini, P.L.F. and C.A.F. Schettini. 2009. Avaliacao de metodologias de interpolacao espacial aplicadas a dados hidrograficos costeiros quase-sinoticos. Brazilian Journal of Aquatic Science and Technology, v. 13, p. 53-64.