Cecilia Peralta Ferriz

Cecilia is a physical oceanographer, with a primary focus on the observations of large-scale dynamics of the Arctic Ocean. She earned her PhD in 2012 in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington, supervised by Dr. Jamie Morison. She received her B.Sc. in Oceanography in Ensenada, B.C., Mexico, in 2004, and her M.Sc. in Oceanography in June 2008 from the UW.

During her time at PSC, including her post-doctoral appointment, Cecilia has taken part on different expeditions in the Arctic Ocean, in Fram Strait (2012-2014) and Bering Strait (2011, 2013 and 2014). She also participated in the North Pole Environmental Observatory expedition during the spring of 2008 and 2010.




Cecilia Peralta Ferriz is U.S. Fulbright Scholar recipient

Congratulations to Cecilia, who was chosen to participate in the U.S. Fulbright Scholar program. She will spend 9 months in Norway (from mid-August 2017 to mid-May 2018) doing oceanographic research at the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) in Tromsø, and at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) in Longyearbyen. 

During her stay in Tromsø, she will be hosted by Dr. Laura de Steur, and in collaboration with NPI colleagues, she will investigate sub-monthly changes in the physical properties of the ocean – primarily volume, freshwater and heat – as it exits the Arctic via Fram Strait. More specifically, she will study how changes in these properties are related to variations in observed ocean mass using data from the Fram Strait mooring array and ocean bottom pressure records from both the strait and the North Pole.  During her visits to Longyearbyen, she will be hosted by Dr. Frank Nilsen, and in collaboration with UNIS colleagues she will contribute to the analysis of the in situ ocean bottom pressure records obtained as part of the Remote Sensing of Ocean Circulation and Environmental Mass Change (REOCIRC) program led by the UNIS team, in order to track changes in the circulation of both the warm and salty West Spitsbergen Current entering the Arctic, and the cold and fresh Coastal Current, also flowing northward but on the continental shelf west of Svalbard.

Cecilia’s project highlights (2012 to present):

Measuring ice

Mixed layer depth variability in the Arctic Ocean. Compilation and analysis of all available CTD and XCTD data in the Arctic Ocean. Estimate of mixed layer depths: characterization of seasonal climatology and inter-annual variability. Supervisor: Dr. Rebecca Woodgate.

Combining GRACE and in situ observations of ocean bottom pressure to study Arctic Ocean change. Lead for setting-up, deploying and monitoring bottom pressure sensor in Fram Strait off the west coast of Svalbard. Use of pressure record to identify coherent changes with other sensors in the Arctic basin. Analysis of GRACE Release V and bottom pressure sensor at the North Pole. Investigating recent trends in Arctic Ocean bottom pressure and changes of freshwater content in the Arctic Ocean.  Principal Investigator: Dr. James Morison.

Hydrographic (CTD) surveys in Bering Strait. Set-up of SBE-39 CTD in cruise, measurements and data post-processing for cruise report.  Assisting in mooring instrumentation and set-up for deployment. Principal investigator: Dr. Rebecca Woodgate.



Selected Publications

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C., and R. A. Woodgate, Seasonal and interannual variability of pan-Arctic surface mixed layer properties from 1979 to 2012 from hydrographic data, and the dominance of stratification for multiyear mixed layer depth shoaling, Prog. Oceanogr., doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2014.12.005, 2015.

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C., J.  H. Morison, J. M. Wallace, J. Bonin and J. Zhang (2014), Arctic Ocean circulation patterns revealed by GRACE, J. Climate, 27, 1445–1468, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00013.1.

  • Morison, J., R. Kwok, C. Peralta-Ferriz, M. Alkire, I. Rigor, R. Andersen, and M. Steele, Changing Arctic Ocean Freshwater Pathways Measured With ICESat and GRACE, Nature, 481, 66-70, DOI: 10.1038/nature10705, 2012

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C., J.  H. Morison, J. M. Wallace and J. Zhang, (2011), A basin-coherent mode of sub-monthly variability in Arctic Ocean bottom pressure, Geophys. Res. Lett, 38, L14606, doi:10.1029/2011GL048142.

  • Peralta-Ferriz, C. and J. Morison, “Understanding the annual cycle of the Arctic Ocean bottom pressure”, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L10603, doi:10.1029/2010GL042827, 2010.

  • Kwok, R., S. Farrell, R. Forsberg, K. Giles, S. Laxon, D. McAdoo, J. Morison, L. Padman, C. Peralta-Ferriz, A. Proshutinsky, and M. Steele,’ Combining satellite altimetry, time-variable gravity, and bottom pressure observations to understand the Arctic Ocean: A transformative opportunity’, Proceedings of the OceanObs09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society Conference, Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison D.E. and Stammer, D., Eds., 2, ESA Publication WPP-30, 2010.

  • Morison, J., J. Wahr, R. Kwok, and C. Peralta-Ferriz,’ Recent trends in Arctic Ocean mass distribution revealed by GRACE’, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L07602, doi:10.1029/2006GL029016, 2007.