PHYSICS 3300: Introductory Physical Oceanography. Winter 2002


Instructor: Dr. I. Afanassiev

Office: C4065. Phone: 737-2500. E-mail: ,

Texts: Introductory Physical Oceanography, Pond and Pickard; Descriptive Physical Oceanography, Pickard and Emery.

Reference books: Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics, Gill; An Introduction to Fluid Dynamics, Batchelor; Waves in the Ocean, LeBlond and Mysak; Physical Oceanography, Defant; Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Pedlosky.

Schedule of topics

o      Basic ocean description (2 weeks): What is an ocean, Plate tectonics, Major ocean currents, Properties of seawater, TS diagrams, Mixing

o      Heat budgets and fluxes (1 week): Insolation, Atmospheric radiation balance, Geographical/seasonal variations, Thermohaline circulation

o      Basic equations (1 week): Stability, Continuity, Equations of motion

o      Instruments (1 week): Salinity, temperature, density, Currents, Satellites, Sound

o      Waves (3 weeks): Wind generation, Shoaling waves, Tsunamis, Tides

o      Dynamics of ocean currents (3 weeks): Geostrophy, Thermal wind eqs., Inertial currents, Determination of geostrophic currents, Potential vorticity, Ekman forcing

Evaluation Scheme (NO SUPPLEMENTAL EXAM!)

o      Assignments (3) - 20%

o      Mid-term exam - 20%

o      Term paper - 15%

o      Final exam - 45%

Tentative schedule

o      Assignment 1, assigned February 5, due February 12

o      Assignment 2, assigned February 21, due February 28

o      Mid-term exam, March 5

o      Assignment 3, assigned March 14, due March 21

o      Term paper, due April 9 (last lecture)