The 2016 Fridtjof Nansen Medal is awarded to John Huthnance for his outstanding contribution to the dynamical understanding of coastal and shelf processes and their role in forming regional ocean conditions.
John Huthnance is an internationally recognised leader in the dynamics of coastal and shelf processes in the ocean. Over his remarkable career, he contributed greatly to the theory of the shelf edge processes, building the comprehensive conceptual physical description of the ocean mesoscale phenomena happening on the shelf edge and slope. His contributions include the theory of dense water cascading off the marine shelves, which has important implications for many regions (from the Mediterranean to the North Sea) and consequences for ocean biogeochemistry and carbon flows. A particular interest of Huthnance is the dynamical interface between the shelf seas and open ocean and he fully considered this to involve a combination of inertia, rotation, stratification and topographic slope. His work in this field precipitated widespread theoretical advances. His research has also tremendously contributed to explaining how waves and currents operate along the continental slope, separating the shelf seas and open ocean. For these reasons, John Huthnance is a worthy recipient of the EGU 2016 Fridjof Nansen Medal.