Semester of Instruction
Autumn, first time Autumn 2016
Objectives and Content
The course will cover advanced topics on the large-scale and mesoscale ocean circulation, mostly using the quasi-geostrophic equations as the mathematical platform. The concept of Rossby waves will first be reviewed. The discussion on the large-scale circulation will include theories for wind-driven flows in midlatitude and high-latitude oceans, including stratification effects like upwelling and downwelling. Simple theories of the buoyancy-driven large-scale circulation will also be covered. The discussion on mesoscale flows will include barotropic/baroclinic instability, 2D/geostrophic turbulence and the concept of eddyinduced advection. Finally, the topic of eddy-mean flow interaction and residual mean theory will be introduced, e.g. with application to the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.
After completing GEOF339, students will be able to:
- derive the quasi-geostrophic equations and discuss barotropic and baroclinic Rossby wave solutions
- derive various solutions for the wind-driven ocean circulation, including upwelling and downwelling
- discuss simplified models of the buoyancy-driven ocean circulation
- derive and discuss QG integral constraints on barotropic and baroclinic instability
- solve the Eady/Phillips problems of baroclinic instability and discuss their applications and limitations
- derive fundamental scaling laws distinguishing 2D and 3D turbulence and discuss their relevance to real geophysical flows
- derive residual mean solutions for eddy-mean flow interactions and discuss their application to flows in the real ocean
Required Previous Knowledge
Bachelor in mathematics, physics or meteorology/oceanography.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Regular attendance of the course exercise including presentation of own solutions.
Forms of Assessment
Oral exam, 45 minutes. Auxiliary material allowed for the exam: None.
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
GEOF330: 5 ECTS
Type of assessment: Oral examination
- Withdrawal deadline