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Concepts of Physical Oceanography

Course Number: OCOR - 5601

This course is intended to give students a view to how wind, radiation, gravity, friction, and the Earth's rotation determine the ocean's temperature and salinity patterns and currents. Some important process we will study include heat budget of the oceans, exchange of heat with the atmosphere and the role of the ocean in climate, surface mixed layer, waves in the ocean, geostrophy, Ekman transport, upwelling, Rossby waves, subtropical gyres, western and eastern boundary currents. Students will learn how to explain physical features of the ocean ranging from microscopic turbulence to global circulation.

Learning outcomes

The students will:

  • How wind, radiation, gravity, friction, and the Earth's rotation determine the ocean's temperature and salinity patterns and currents
  • The complex nature of the relationships between oceanic and atmospheric processes
  • Gow physical processes may influence marine organisms.
  • Students will be able to effectively communicate the subject of this course, including terminology and main concepts of physical oceanography.

Textbooks

  • Ocean Circulation (Second Edition) by A. Colling. Published by The Open University Course Team, 2001.
  • Waves, Tides and Shallow-Processes (Second Edition) by J. Wright, et al. Published by the Open University Course Team, 2000.
  • Recommended (Not required) - Introduction to Physical Oceanography by Robert Stewart: http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/home/course_book.htm (PDF and Web Version)

Winter 2016 Syllabus

Concepts of Physical Oceanography Course Guide

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