NFYB16005U Physical Oceanography (Geofys2)
BSc Programme in Physics
MSc Programme in Physics w. minor subject
We will apply classical physics to the problem of ocean circulation.
The first quarter of the cource will be rather descriptive; in the second quarter we will derrive the equations of motion and determine heuristically what the forces are that dominate the ocean. It will be shown that the deep ocean is mostly adiabatic so it is not obvious at all how it can be set into motion.
After a general survey of the various dynamic regimes and observational tools, we will then derrive the properties of planetary waves and explore how they set the abyss into motion.
Parallel to the lecture there will be practical exercises during which we develop our own ocean model. This numerical model will then be used to verify the analytical results arrived at during the lectures.
The student can:
- write down the equations governing ocean dynamics
- explain the effect of rotating frames of reference
- explain Ekman and Sverdrup transport
- explain the dynamics of the viscous boundary layers
- can provide a basic description of the world oceans:
major currents, salt & temperature structure, seasonal and mean features
- knows the basic dynamic regimes of the ocean
- can explain the current challenges in theoretical oceanography
- knows how climate signals are transmitted in the ocean
The student can:
- translate a physical problem into mathematical formalism
- … and both into a numerical model
See Absalon for final course material. The following is an example of expected course literature.
Pedlosky, Waves in Atmosphere and Ocean, Springer
- Practical exercises
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Oral examination, 25 minutes25 minutes oral exam, no preparation
- Exam registration requirements
In order to participate in the oral exam, the student must have submitted and approved at least 80% of the weekly homework sets.
- Without aids
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
several internal examiners
same as ordinary exam. If a student has not fulfilled the prerequisite, the homework sets can be submitted or re-submitted until 2 weeks before the re-exam.
Criteria for exam assesment
see learning outcome.