Postgraduate course

Tidal dynamics and sea level variations

Level of Study




Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The course aims to give a basic introduction to tidal dynamics and analysis of observed variations in sea surface height and tidal currents, quantification of the magnitude of and dissemination of processes related to sources and sinks of tidal energy, and analysis of variations and changes in global and regional sea level.

The course provides an understanding of the underlying causes for ocean tides and variations in sea level, and by that providing the knowledge basis for how tides and sea level changes affects coastal areas and infrastructures.

The course covers topics such as classical ocean tidal mechanics, analysis and prediction of tides, tidal dynamics in general and for coastal areas in particular, input and extraction of tidal energy, physical processes related to tidal variations, storm surge, tsunami, and variations and changes in global and regional sea level.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student
¿ has a thorough knowledge about the causes and properties of the tides
¿ can discuss and compute tidal elevations in the open sea, in narrow and open bays and in marginal seas
¿ can analyse storm surge and tsunami
¿ can discuss the role of tidal mixing and energy dissipation in open and (semi)closed ocean basins
¿ knows the development of the fields of ocean tides and variations in sea level
¿ knows the theory for extraction of tidal energy
¿ has a thorough knowledge about variations and changes in sea level geographically (global, regional and local) and in time


The student
¿ can master the derivation of the leading, harmonic components to calculate, analyse and predict ocean tides
¿ can use the equilibrium theory to quantify changes in the sea surface height and the associated ocean currents for different configurations of the orbital parameters
¿ can explain and discuss the various factors influencing local and global sea level on different time scales, and the underlying causes for these variations
¿ can explain and discuss key concepts for ocean tides and non-tidal variations in the sea level

General competence

The student
¿ is able to explain and apply mathematical concepts and apply mathematical formalism on different geophysical problems
¿ is able to conduct and present analysis of ocean observations
¿ is able to write and present an assignment in accordance with good scientific practice
¿ is able to reflect on central ethical and scientific issues in the fields of oceanography, climate and renewable energy

Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Meteorology and Oceanography, Bachelor's degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics or equivalent.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

GEOF110 in addition to GEOF105

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

For oppstart på emnet er det krav om at du har ein studierett knytt til eit masterprogram/ ved Det matematisk-naturvitskaplege fakultet eller ph.d.-utdanninga. http://www.uib.no/matnat/52646/opptak-ved-mn-fakultetet

Teaching and learning methods

The main form of teaching will be lectures
4 hours a week for 13 weeks

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Assignments, including programming tasks, will be given throughout the semester. Each student, eventually students in small groups, shall submit at least two written reports and present the findings in plenum. The submitted reports and plenum presentations need to be approved in order for the student to enter the final exam. In addition, short, mandatory student presentations will be held every week based on the preceding weeks curriculum.
Approved mandatory activity is valid 3 following semesters after approval.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:
Final, oral exam, including presentation of the programming exercises and questions related to some of the assignments, counts 100% of the grade.

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Examination in the autumn semester only.

Reading List

The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Administrator

Det matematisk-naturvitenskapelige fakultet v/ Geofysisk institutt har det administrative ansvaret for emnet og studieprogrammet.


Contact Information


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Oral examination

    Withdrawal deadline