Professor Mark E Inall

        Head and shoulder photo of Professor Inall inside SAMS

Marine Physicist; SAGES Director

A physical oceanographer researching marine mixing processes to place them in a broader context of ocean/shelf interaction in mid and high latitudes. Specifically, internal wave generation by tidal flow over topography and subsequent decay to turbulence: in the deep sea (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Wyville-Thomson Ridge); in shelf seas (Malin Shelf, Iberian Shelf, West Spitzbergen Shelf, Antarctic Shelf); and in coastal waters (NW European and Arctic fjords).

I am Director of SAGES and the author of 82 journal articles, h-index = 25

Contact details:
  • +44 (0)1631 559 267
  • +44 (0)7795 573475

  • Google Scholar

  • mark.inall

Keywords of research interest

  • >Physical oceanography and geophysical fluid dynamics
  • >Marine autonomous systems
  • >Geophysical turbulence
  • >Internal waves in stratified flows

Current projects

Scottish Alliance for Geoscience Environment and Society (SAGES): Director 2015-20. Funded by the Scottish Funding Council

AtlantOS: Principal Investigator 2013-18. Funded by EU Horizon 2020

Arctic PRIZE. Funded by NERC

AlterEco: Principal Investigator 2015-19. Funded by NERC

OSNAP: Principal Investigator since 2014. Funded by NERC

Scottish Marine Robotics Facility: Lead scientist since 2009. Funded by NERC

Ellett Line: Co-Principal Investigator, project since 1975. Funded by NERC

EUReady4OS: Principal Investigator 2017-18. Funded by EU

ATLAS: Funded by H2020


Highlight past projects

FASTNEt: Lead scientist 2011-17 funded by NERC.

Gallego, A, O’Hara Murray, RB, Berx, B, Turrell, B, Beegle-Krause, CJ, Inall, M, Sherwin, T, Siddorn, J, Wakelin, S, Vlasenko, V, Hole, LR, Dagestad, K-F, Rees, J, Short, L, Rønningen, P, Main, CE, Legrand, S, Gutierrez, T, Witte, U, Mulanaphy, N (2018) Current status of deepwater oil spill modelling in the Faroe-Shetland Channel, Northeast Atlantic, and future challenges. Marine Pollution Bulletin 127: 484-504. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.12.002

Aleynik, D., Inall, M. E., Dale, A. & Vink, A. (2017) Impact of remotely generated eddies on plume dispersion at abyssal mining sites in the Pacific. Scientific Reports 7, 16959, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-16912-2

Toberman, M., M. Inall, T. Boyd, E. Dumount, and C. Griffiths (2017), Nonlinear internal waves and plumes generated in response to sea-loch outflow, AUV, and time-lapse photography observations. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, doi:10.1002/ 2016JC012208.

Robert Marsh, Ivan D. Haigh, Stuart A. Cunningham, Mark E. Inall, Marie Porter, and Ben I. Moat (2017)
Large-scale forcing of the European Slope Current and associated inflows to the North Sea, Ocean Science, 13, 315-335, doi:10.5194/os-13-315-2017

Inall, M.E., et al., MASSMO3: Comparison between glider data, WeStCOMS model and Hydrobase3 observational climatology, in SAMS Reports. 2017, SAMS: Oban.

Vlasenko, V., et al., Focusing of baroclinic tidal energy in a canyon. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2016. in press.

Stephenson, G.R., J.A.M. Green, and M.E. Inall, Systematic bias in baroclinic energy estimates in shelf seas. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 2016.

Siemering, B., et al., Phytoplankton distribution in relation to environmental drivers on the North West European shelf sea. PloS one, 2016.

Porter, M., et al., Drifter observations in the summer time Bay of Biscay slope current. Journal of Marine Systems, 2016. 157: p. 65-74.

Porter, M., et al., Glider observations of enhanced deep water upwelling at a shelf break canyon: a mechanism for cross-slope carbon and nutrient exchange. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2016. in press.

Nilsen, F., et al., A Simple Shelf Circulation Model - Intrusion of AtlanticWater on the West Spitsbergen Shelf. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 2016. 46.

Lozier, M.S., et al., Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: a new international ocean observing system. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2016.

Fraser, N.J., et al., Air-sea interaction in an Arctic fjord using glider based observations. Continental Shelf Research, 2016. submitted.

Brearley, J.A., et al., Controls on turbulent mixing on the West Antarctic Peninsula shelf. Deep Sea Research II, 2016. in press.

Aleynik, D., et al., Remotely Wind-generated Eddies Impact an Abyssal Polymetallic Mining Site in the Pacific. Nature Communications, 2016. under review.

Stephenson, G.R., et al., Baroclinic energy flux at the continental shelf edge modified by wind-mixing. Geophysical Research Letters, 2015. 42(6): p. 1826-1833.

Sherwin, T.J., et al., Deep eddies stir the surface layers of the central Rockall Trough. Ocean Science, 2015. in press.

Sherwin, T.J., et al., Deep drivers of mesoscale circulation in the central Rockall Trough. Ocean Science, 2015. 11(3): p. 343-359.

Luckman, A., et al., Calving rates at tidewater glaciers vary strongly with ocean temperature. Nat Commun, 2015. 6.

Inall, M.E., et al., Shelf/fjord exchange driven by coastal-trapped waves in the Arctic. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 2015. 120(12): p. 8283-8303.

Dale, A.C. and M.E. Inall, Tidal mixing processes amid small-scale, deep-ocean topography. Geophysical Research Letters, 2015. 42(2): p. 484-491.

Vlasenko, V., et al., Tidal energy conversion in a global hot spot: On the 3-D dynamics of baroclinic tides at the Celtic Sea shelf break. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 2014. 119(6): p. 3249-3265.

Stashchuk, N., et al., Horizontal dispersion in shelf seas: High resolution modelling as an aid to sparse sampling. Progress in Oceanography, 2014. 128: p. 74-87.

Palmer, M.R., et al., Turbulence and Mixing by Internal Waves In The Celtic Sea Determined From Ocean Glider Microstructure Measurements. Journal of Marine Systems, 2014. 144: p. 57-69.

Inall, M.E., et al., Oceanic heat delivery via Kangerlugssuaq fjord to the south-east Greenland ice sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2014. 119.

Hopkins, J.E., et al., Storms modify baroclinic energy fluxes in a seasonally stratified shelf sea: Inertial-tidal interaction. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 2014. 119(10): p. 6863-6883.

Vlasenko, V., et al., Generation of baroclinic tides over an isolated underwater bank. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 2013. 118(9): p. 4395-4408.

Vlasenko, V., N. Stashchuk, and M. Inall, Three dimensional dynamics of baroclynic tides in the Celtic Sea on the results of in-situ observations and numerical modelling, in 3rd Norway Scotland Symposium on Internal Waves. 2013: Oslo.

Sharples, J., B.E. Scott, and M.E. Inall, From physics to fishing over a shelf sea bank. Progress in Oceanography, 2013. 117: p. 1-8.

Priede, I.G., et al., Does presence of a Mid Ocean Ridge enhance biomass and biodiversity? PLOS ONE, 2013. 8(5).

Priede, I.G., et al., The ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the sub-polar front and Charlie–Gibbs Fracture Zone; ECO-MAR project strategy and description of the sampling programme 2007–2010. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 2013. 98: p. 220-230.

Priede, I.G., et al., The ECO-MAR (Ecosystem of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at the Sub-Polar Front and Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone) project: description of the benthic sampling programme 2007–2010. Marine Biology Research, 2013. 9(5-6): p. 624-628.

Palmer, M.R., et al., Variable behavior in pycnocline mixing over shelf seas. Geophysical Research Letters, 2013. 40: p. 161-166.

Palmer, M.R., M.E. Inall, and J. Sharples, The physical oceanography of Jones Bank: A mixing hotspot in the Celtic Sea. Progress in Oceanography, 2013. 117: p. 9-24.

Johnson, C., M. Inall, and S. Häkkinen, Declining nutrient concentrations in the northeast Atlantic as a result of a weakening Subpolar Gyre. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 2013. 82: p. 95-107.

Inall, M.E., D. Aleynik, and C. Neil, Horizontal advection and dispersion in a stratified shelf sea: The role of inertial oscillations. Progress in Oceanography, 2013. 117: p. 25-36.

Gillibrand, P., et al., A box model of the seasonal exchange and mixing in regions of restricted exchange: application to two contrasting Scottish inlets. Environmental Modelling & Software, 2013. 43: p. 144-159.

Steele, E., et al., Cooling of the West Spitsbergen Current: AUV-based turbulence measurements west of Svalbard, in IEEE OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. 2012, IEEE. p. 1-7.

Sole, A.J., et al., Increased glacier runoff enhances the penetration of warm Atlantic water into a large Greenland fjord. The Cryosphere Discussions, 2012. 6: p. 4861-4896.

Nash, J.D., et al., Are any coastal internal tides predictable? Oceanography, 2012. 25(2): p. 80-95.

Inall, M., et al. AUV observations of surface mixing and bubble entrainment in the Clyde estuary, Scotland. in Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), 2012 IEEE/OES. 2012.

Tett, P., et al., Carrying and assimilative capacities: the ACExR-LESV model for sea-loch aquaculture. Aquaculture Research, 2011. 42: p. 51-67.

Inall, M.E., et al., Internal Tide coherence and decay over a wide Shelf Sea. Geophysical Research Letters, 2011. 38.

Inall, M.E. and P.A. Gillibrand, The physics of mid-latitude fjords: a review Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 2010. 344: p. 17-33.

Boyd, T.J., et al., AUV-based observations of mixing in the tidal outflow from a Scottish Sea Loch. IEEE-OES Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), 2010.

Portilla, E., et al., Description and sensitivity analysis for the LESV model: Water quality variables and the balance of organisms in a fjordic region of restricted exchange. Ecological Modelling, 2009. 220(18): p. 2187-2205.

Inall, M.E., Internal wave induced dispersion and mixing on a sloping boundary. Geophysical Research Letters, 2009. 36.

Inall, M., et al., On the oceanographic variability of the North-West European Shelf to the West of Scotland. Journal of Marine Systems, 2009. 77(3): p. 210-226.

Cromey, C.J., et al., Modelling the impact of cod (Gadus morhua L) farming in the marine environment-CODMOD. Aquaculture, 2009. 289(1-2): p. 42-53.

Sherwin, T.J., et al., Quantifying the overflow across the Wyville Thomson Ridge into the Rockall trough. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers, 2008. 55(4): p. 396-404.

Stashchuk, N., M. Inall, and V. Vlasenko, Analysis of supercritical stratified tidal flow in a Scottish Fjord. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 2007. 37(7): p. 1793-1810.

Rippeth, T.P., et al., Turbulent dissipation in shelf seas: a response to "Observations of Biologically Generated Turbulence in a Coastal Inlet". Science Electronic Letters, 2007.

Cottier, F.R., et al., Wintertime warming of an Arctic shelf in response to large-scale atmospheric circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 2007. 34(10).

Gillibrand, P.A. and M.E. Inall, Improving assimilative capacity modelling for Scottish coastal waters: I. A model of physical exchange in Scottish sea lochs. 2006, SAMS: Oban. p. 25.

Janzen, C.D., et al., Across-sill circulation near a tidal mixing front in a broad fjord. Continental Shelf Research, 2005. 25(15): p. 1805-1824.

Inall, M.E., et al., HOMER: Early results from a novel seabed-resident water column profiler. Oceans 2005 - Europe, Vols 1 and 2. 2005. 1252-1255.

Inall, M.E., Turbulence measurements in fjords, in Marine Turbulence: Theories, Observations and Models, H.Z. Baumert, J.H. Simpson, and J. Sunderman, Editors. 2005, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. p. 340 - 345.

Inall, M., et al., Evolution and distribution of TKE production and dissipation within stratified flow over topography. Geophysical Research Letters, 2005. 32(8).

Cottier, F.R., et al., Water mass modification in an Arctic fjord through cross-shelf exchange: The seasonal hydrography of Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2005. 110(C12).

Inall, M., et al., Sill dynamics and energy transformation in a jet fjord. Ocean Dynamics, 2004. 54(3-4): p. 307-314.

Cottier, F., M. Inall, and C. Griffiths, Seasonal variations in internal wave energy in a Scottish sea loch. Ocean Dynamics, 2004. 54(3-4): p. 340-347.

Rippeth, T.P., et al., Measurement of the rates of production and dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy in an energetic tidal flow: Red Wharf Bay revisited. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 2003. 33(9): p. 1889-1901.

Inall, M.E. and C.R. Griffiths, The Tiree Passage Time Series:1981-2003. 2003, Scottish Association for Marine Science: Oban. p. 22.

Cottier, F.R. and M.E. Inall, Tidal response in sea lochs - a case of waves versus jets. Ocean Challenge, 2003. 12(3): p. 24-27.

Sherwin, T.J., M.E. Inall, and R. Torres, The seasonal and spatial variability of small-scale turbulence at the Iberian margin. Journal of Marine Research, 2002. 60(1): p. 73-100.

Rippeth, T.P. and M.E. Inall, Observations of the internal tide and associated mixing across the Malin Shelf. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 2002. 107(C4).

Inall, M.E. and T.P. Rippeth, Dissipation of tidal energy and associated mixing in a wide fjord. Environmental Fluid Mechanics, 2002. 2: p. 219-240.

Holliday, N.P., et al., SEA7 Data Report: Physical Oceanography. 2002, DTI.

Austin, W.E.N. and M.E. Inall, Deep-water renewal in a Scottish fjord: temperature, salinity and oxygen isotopes. Polar Research, 2002. 21(2): p. 251-257.

Joint, I., et al., Two Lagrangian experiments in the Iberian Upwelling System: tracking an upwelling event and an off-shore filament. Progress in Oceanography, 2001. 51(2-4): p. 221-248.

Inall, M.E., G.I. Shapiro, and T.J. Sherwin, Mass transport by non-linear internal waves on the Malin Shelf. Continental Shelf Research, 2001. 21(13-14): p. 1449-1472.

Howe, J.A., et al., A side-scan sonar image of a glacially-overdeepened sea loch, upper Loch Etive, Argyll. Scottish Journal of Geology, 2001. 37: p. 3-10.

Barton, E.D., et al., Vertical structure, turbulent mixing and fluxes during Lagrangian observations of an upwelling filament system off Northwest Iberia. Progress in Oceanography, 2001. 51(2-4): p. 249-267.

Richards, K.J. and M.E. Inall, The upper ocean heat content of the western equatorial Pacific: processes controlling its change during the Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 2000. 105(C8): p. 19575-19590.

Inall, M.E., T.P. Rippeth, and T.J. Sherwin, Impact of nonlinear waves on the dissipation of internal tidal energy at a shelf break. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 2000. 105(C4): p. 8687-8705.

Inall, M.E. and T.P. Rippeth. Internal Friction in Shelf and Coastal Seas. in Fifth International Symposium on Stratified Flows. 2000. University of British Columbia.

Guizien, K., et al., Baroclinic tides at a north-west European margin: Analytical modelling compared to in situ data, in Proceedings of the Ninth, J.S. Chung, et al., Editors. 1999. p. 181-186.

Guizien, K., E. Barthelemy, and M.E. Inall, Internal tide generation at a shelf break by an oblique barotropic tide: Observations and analytical modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 1999. 104(C7): p. 15655-15668.

Richards, K.J. and M.E. Inall, Upper ocean heat budget, 5S-5N, in WMO WCRP Report WCRP-107. 1998.

Inall, M.E., K.J. Richards, and G. Eldin, The changing structure of the upper ocean in the western equatorial Pacific during the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 1998. 103(C10): p. 21385-21400.

Sherwin, T.J., et al., Linear and non-linear internal tides around the European Atlantic shelf edge, in Proceedings of the Sixth, J.S. Chung, M. Olagnon, and C.H. Kim, Editors. 1996. p. 131-137.

Richards, K.J., M.E. Inall, and N.C. Wells, The Diurnal mixed layer and upper ocean heat budget in the western equatorial Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1995. 100: p. 6865-6879.

Richards, K.J., et al., The large scale response of the upper ocean to atmospheric forcing during TOGA-COARE, in International Scientific Conference on TOGA. 1995.

Inall, M.E. and P. P., Sea ice conditions around Svalbard, in Reports on Polar Research. 1992, Alfred Wegener Institute. p. 92-115.


Marine Science BSc: 3rd year module 'Ocean Circulation and Climate' (teaching coastal half of module)

UNIS Air-Sea-Ice Interaction: Guest lecturer since 2014


Current research students

Neil Fraser: Impact of variable ocean/shelf exchange on glacial dynamics is SE Greenland. PhD. University of Edinburgh


List of alumni research students

Emily Venables. PhD. UHI/University of Aberdeen

Matt Toberman: Buoyant plumes and non-linear internal waves, a view from above and below: Time-lapse photography and AUV based microstructure profiler observations. PhD 2015. UHI/University of Aberdeen


Other education roles

I was co-developer of the UHI Marine Science BSc (Hons) programme

PhD external examiner (9 to date)

Professional affiliations

  • >Fellow, Institute of Physics
  • >Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • >Honorary Professor, Edinburgh University School of Geosciences since March 2015

Professional activities

  • >NERC Marine Facilities Advisory Board: Chair
  • >Ocean Processes Exchange Group - advisory committee to DEFRA
  • >Geophysical Research Letters: Associate Editor 2014-2017
  • >US Gordon Research Conferences: Steering Committee, 2013-2015
  • >NERC Peer Review College: Member 2005 – 2010
  • >Prince2 project management and senior management trained

Relevant research expeditions

25 years of experience in the field, from equatorial waters to Arctic and Antarctic waters, sea ice and ice sheets

Other measures of esteem

Geophysical Research Letters Editor’s special highlight paper selection (two occasions):

  • >Inall, M.E., D.L. Aleynik, T.J. Boyd, M. Palmer, and J. Sharples, 2011.Internal Tide coherence and decay over a wide Shelf Sea. Geophysical Research Letters, 38.
  • >Cottier, F.R., F. Nilsen, M.E. Inall, S. Gerland, V. Tverberg, and H. Svendsen, 2007.Wintertime warming of an Arctic shelf in response to large-scale atmospheric circulation. Geophysical Research Letters, 34(10).

Journal of Geophysical Research, front cover highlight, February 2014:

  • >Inall, M.E., T. Murray, F. Cottier, K. Scharrer, T.J. Boyd, K.J. Heywood, and S.L. Bevan, 2014.Oceanic heat delivery via Kangerlugssuaq fjord to the south-east Greenland ice sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research, 119.

Employment history

Since 2015 Director, Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

2010-14 Associate Director Research. SAMS

2009-10 Reader. SAMS

2005-09 Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Physics, Technology and Sea Ice

1998-2005 Lecturer in Marine Physics. SAMS

1995-98 Postdoctoral Research Associate. University of Wales, Bangor

1990-92 Research Associate. Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University



1995 PhD. Southampton University

1990 MSc Oceanography. Southampton University

1988 BSc (Hons) Physics. Edinburgh University