PHYSICS OF THE SEA
Oral exam: candidates will be asked questions regarding the topics discussed in class
Provide basic knowledge of the physics of the oceans. Show the usefulness of mathematical and physical models for the description and the understanding of geophysical fluid dynamics.
In the first part of the course fundamental physical properties of the ocean will be introduced. The second part will be basic geophysical fluid dynamics, with the discussion of solutions to approximations relevant for the description of the ocean circulation and waves. In the laboratory sessions, experiments and problems will be presented to better visualise and understand the main topics of the course.
Ocean Physics: Light and sound propagation. Temperature and salinity. Equation of state. Stratification. Tracer distribution. Heat fluxes. Water masses. T-S diagrams.
Oceanic Dynamics: Navier-Stokes equation. Mass conservation. Hydrostatic approximation. Geostrophic. Thermal wind equation. Vorticiity. Boundary layer. Large scale circulation and winds. Subtropical and subpolar gyres. Western boundary currents. Gravity waves. Rossby and Kelvin waves. Turbulent fluxes.
Labortatory sessions: Geophysical fluid dynamical experiments. Oceanographic problem solving.
Textbook and teaching resource
Stewart, “Introduction to Physical Oceanography”, freely available on line.
Marshall and Plumb “Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics”, Academic Press (2008)
Vallis “Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics”, Cambridge UNiv. Press (2006)