Daniel L. Codiga


Assoc. Marine Research Scientist






213A Watkins Bldg




Ph.D. Oceanography, University of Washington 1996
M.S. Oceanography, University of Washington 1991
B.S. Applied Physics, University of California Davis 1987


Dan Codiga investigates estuarine, coastal, and shelf systems (for example Rhode Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Long Island Sound, and the southern New England continental shelf) with emphasis on their physical oceanography and fluid dynamics. He is developing new observation technologies and is involved with ocean observation system advancements.

He works to improve understanding of processes that govern coastal and estuarine water circulation patterns, tidal motions, waves, and distributions of water properties such as temperature and salinity. These characteristics exhibit highly dynamic spatial and temporal variations in response to forcing by the atmosphere (heating/cooling; winds), by tides, and by delivery of relatively fresh and buoyant waters from river outflows. Such processes determine the habitat of living resources, including transport of suspended materials on which they depend.

Of particular interest is flow influenced by density stratification, the formation of horizontal layers of differing densities. Stratification can be linked to marked differences in the strength and direction of currents at different depths. An example is the outward shallow flow overlying inward deeper flow characterizing exchange between an estuary and the coastal ocean. Codiga developed new understanding of this exchange in Long Island Sound using a ferry-based observation program. Stratification can also suppress exchange of properties between shallow and deep waters. An example depleted oxygen in deep waters—a condition called hypoxia that is harmful to marine life—when stratification impedes downward mixing of surface waters which are oxygenated due to exchange with the atmosphere. Codiga has examined these dynamics in Narragansett Bay, including the influence climate change is expected to have on them.

The main research approach Codiga uses is collection and analysis of in situ (i.e. measured in-water) observations using moorings and/or surveys on research vessels. His recent efforts have concentrated on development of an autonomous surface craft, or robotic boat, to enable more cost-effective long-duration surveys. This new technology is designed to yield sampling that not only has strong temporal coverage and resolution but also has strong spatial coverage and resolution; both are required in order to address many of his research interests.


“An Autonomous Surface Craft (Robotic Boat) for Oceanographic Sampling”, Greenwich Bay Power and Sail Squadron, October 2013.

“Fresher Over Saltier: Stratification and Hypoxia in Narragansett Bay”, Rhode Island Coastweeks public lecture, October 2007.


Codiga, D.L., 2012. Density stratification in an estuary with complex geometry: Driving processes and relationship to hypoxia on monthly to inter-annual timescales. J. Geophys. Res, doi:10.1029/2012JC008473, in press.

Codiga, D.L., 2011. Unified Tidal Analysis and Prediction Using the UTide Matlab Functions. Technical Report 2011-01. Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI. 59pp. [UTIDE HOME PAGE: http://www.po.gso.uri.edu/~codiga/utide/utide.htm ]

Codiga, D.L., H.E. Stoffel, C.F. Deacutis, S. Kiernan, and C.A. Oviatt, 2009. Narragansett Bay hypoxic event characteristics based on fixed-site monitoring network time series: Intermittency, geographic distribution, spatial synchronicity, and interannual variability. Estuaries and Coasts, 32:621-641, DOI 10.1007/s12237-009-9165-9.

Codiga, D.L. and D.A. Aurin, 2007. Residual circulation in eastern Long Island Sound: observed transverse-vertical structure and exchange transport. Cont. Shelf Res., 27, 103-116.

Codiga, D.L., 2005. Interplay of wind forcing and buoyant discharge off Montauk Point: Seasonal changes in velocity structure and a coastal front. J. Phys. Oceanogr. 35(6), 1068–1085.

Codiga, D.L., J.A. Rice, P.S. Baxley, and D. Hebert, 2005. Networked acoustic modems for real-time data telemetry from distributed subsurface instruments in the coastal ocean: Application to array of bottom-mounted ADCPs. J. Atmos. Oceanic Tech. 22, 704-720.

Codiga, D.L. and L.V. Rear, 2004. Observed tidal currents outside Block Island Sound: Offshore decay and effects of estuarine outflow. J. Geophys. Res.109, C07S05, doi:10.1029/2003JC001804.

Codiga, D.L., D.P. Renouard, and A.M. Fincham, 1999. Experiments on waves trapped over the continental slope and shelf in a continuously stratified rotating ocean, and their incidence on a canyon. J. Mar. Res., 57, 585-612.

Codiga, D.L. and C.C. Eriksen, 1997. Observations of low-frequency circulation and amplified subinertial tidal currents at Cobb Seamount. J. Geophys. Res., 102, 22993-23007.


Codiga, D.L., 2013. “An autonomous surface craft for long-duration, multi-disciplinary sampling in coastal and estuarine systems (SCOAP)”, Innovation in Oceanography, Ocean Engineering, Defense and Marine Trades, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI.

Nehra, A. and D.L. Codiga, 2013. Networked Utilities for Reliable and Safe Transfers of Control Between Native Mission Software and Backseat MOOS-IvP Helm on an Autonomous Surface Craft. MOOS-DAWG 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Filimon, M.A. and D.L. Codiga, 2013. MOOS-IvP Helm Based Simulations of Collision Avoidance by an Autonomous Surface Craft Performing Repeat-Transect Oceanographic Surveys. MOOS-DAWG 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Codiga, D.L., 2012. “Relating tidal cycles in stratification, shear, and turbulence to estuarine residual flow”. Poster, TOS/ASLO/AGU Ocean Sciences 2012, Salt Lake City, UT.

Codiga, D.L., 2011. “Climatic Influences on Coastal/Estuarine Physical Oceanography … and Possible Interdisciplinary Implications”, Invited talk, Climate Change Symposium, RI Sea Grant, Narragansett, RI.

Codiga, D.L. and C.K. Bryan, 2009. “Relating tidal cycles in shear and turbulent overturns to residual flow: Observations from eastern Long Island Sound”, Poster, Gordon Research Conference on Coastal Ocean Circulation, New London, NH.

Codiga, D.L., 2009. “Circulation in Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, and adjacent waters, with emphasis on subsurface flows”, Invited talk, 7th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium: Sound Connections, The Science of Rhode Island and Block Island Sounds, Block Island, RI.

Codiga, D.L., 2007. “Transferable, general models for evolving stratification and hypoxia: an empirical input-output approach (Narragansett Bay CHRP)”, Estuarine Research Federation Annual Meeting, Providence, RI.

Codiga, D.L., 2004. “Comparing factors (mostly physical) that impact oxygen dynamics in Long Island Sound and Chesapeake Bay”, Invited talk, Sea Grant Workshop on Oxygen Dynamics in Chesapeake Bay, Adelphi, MD.