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Physical Oceanography (MT 2016)

 Aim – To develop simple dynamical models that explain the observed structure and underlying causes of the large-scale ocean circulation.


Lecture schedule – Please see the Michaelmas term lecture list at : https://timetable.eng.ox.ac.uk/SWS/SDB1617/default.aspx for details of the lecture schedule. The course will begin at 2 PM on Tuesday 11 October (week 1) in the Element Lab.

Problems – there will be four problems classes to consolidate the lecture material and provide good preparation for the exam. These will immediately follow the second lecture each week and will take place at 12 noon on Thursday during weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Problem Sheets

Assessment – will be entirely by examination in the Part A2 exams.

Prerequisite – this course will rely on material taught in Planet Earth – Physics of the Atmosphere 
and Ocean, which you should review. http://www.earth.ox.ac.uk/~helenj/planetearthHT12/

Internet – resources to support the lectures will be available at 
http://www.aneeshcs.com/courses/po and via Weblearn.

Recommended texts

  • Ocean Dynamics and the Carbon Cycle, Williams and Follows, Cambridge University Press −an excellent book that covers the material in this module at an appropriate level.
  • Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics, Marshall and Plumb, Elsevier −another really good resource for this module.
  • Introduction to Physical Oceanography, Stewart, Academic Press
−a free textbook (http://www.colorado.edu/oclab/sites/default/files/attached-files/stewart_textbook.pdf) that covers some of the material and can be downloaded as a PDF.
  • Ocean Circulation and Climate, Siedler et al., Academic Press
−contains a thorough and reasonably up-to-date overview of physical oceanography.
  • Ocean Circulation, Open University Course Team, Pergamon Press
−gives a very good introduction to some of the more basic dynamical concepts, with very few mathematical details.
  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, Geoff Vallis, Cambridge University Press
−a good textbook that covers all the material in this module including mathematical derivations, although aimed at a higher level.