Current lab members, and alumni.



Research areas for group members.



Images and animations of our research



Publications from PONG


What We Do

People in the Physical Oceanography Numerical Group work on problems in the coastal ocean using numerical simulations. Currently, the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) is used for all of the simulations.

What's New

October 2017

Kristen Thyng (PONG), Kerri Whilden (GERG), Karen Dreger (GERG), and Veronica Ruiz Xomchuk (PONG) were sampling on Galveston at the begining of October.

September 2017

Rob Hetland, Scott Socolofsky, and Kristen Thyng with Ben Hodges at UT received an NSF RAPID (Hurricane Harvey) for sampling the plume coming out of Galveston Bay to better understand the complex and previously unstudied dynamics when a huge pulse of freshwater enters the bay and then the shelf.

Kristen Thyng and Kerri Whilden (GERG) lead the LEG2 of the NSF RAPID cruise outside Galveston bay at the end of September.

August 2017

PONG has a new graduate student! Xiliang Diao joined our group starting fall 2017.

May 2017

PONG graduate students received awards during the 2017 Geosciences Graduation Reception!

Lixin won the Chapman Award for Graduate Student Research, in recognition of exceptional Oceanographic research contributed by a graduate student. Veronica received the Wormuth Memorial Award for Graduate Student Teaching, in recognition of exceptional teaching in Oceanography by a graduate student.

April 2017

PONG member Lixin Qu releases Pearl River Forecast System!

Pearl River Forecast System is a fully operational ocean circulation forecast model on the South China Sea shelf and provides the real-time analysis and 7-day forecast data for investigating the coastal environments in the Pearl River region. For more information, see the Pearl River Forecast Website.

June 2016

Arthur successfully defends his masters thesis!

Arthur Ramos defended his thesis June 16th to a full room with lots of good questions. Afterward, we all celebrated his accomplishment. Congrats Arthur!

May 2016

PONG group photo in Belgium

Group members Rob, Kristen, and DJ attended the 2016 Liege Colloquium on submesoscale processes. Each had a talk or poster – Rob gave one of the keynotes – and all enjoyed the conference!

March 2016

PONG has a new group member!

Tingting has joined PONG as a postdoctoral researcher. Read about her more.

February 22, 2016

We had a PONG group reunion at the Ocean Sciences meeting in New Orleans!

July 24, 2015

Updated surface salinity movies of the Texas-Louisiana shelf are available, using the new colormap package cmocean.

May 18, 2015

Our set of standardized colormaps for oceanographic plotting excellence is still available, and now updated!

The colormap package in Python is freely available, and you can find more information about the updated colormaps here.

March 13, 2015

A set of standardized colormaps for oceanographic plotting excellence is available.

The colormap package in Python is freely available, and you can find more information about the colormaps here.

January 23, 2015

Wenxia Zhang successfully defended her PhD dissertation last Friday! Congratulations to Dr. Zhang!

October 9, 2014

Harmful algal bloom prediction for the rest of the season.

PONG researchers Drs. Kristen Thyng and Rob Hetland are predicting that there will not be a severe harmful algal bloom caused by Karenia brevis in Texas waters this year. Find more details here.

October 7, 2014

Another new PONG member!

PONG has another new member: Xiaopei Lin is visiting for 6 months from the Ocean University of China.

September 15, 2014

New PONG members!

PONG has welcomed several new members: Hui Wu is visiting for a year from the East China Normal University, and Lixin Qu and Veronica Ruiz Xomchuk are new graduate students.

July 22, 2014

PONG member Wenxia Zhang goes on MCH cruise.

Wenxia worked hard on a recent research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, helping to determine the size of the hypoxia "dead zone." She is quoted in an article discussing her experiences.

June 20, 2014

New surface salinity movies of the Texas-Louisiana shelf are available.

June 10, 2014

TracPy version 1.0 has been released!

TracPy, a Python wrapper of Lagrangian trajectory model TRACMASS, has always been available on GitHub but now has been officially released, complete with a DOI. TracPy has been written primarily by Kristen Thyng.

February 10, 2014

DJ Kobashi has joined PONG!

DJ is working as a postdoctoral research associate with Rob on improving the TXLA and OOF models. See more information about DJ.