Objectives and Content
The course presents the governing equations and their application to various phenomena in geophysical fluid dynamics. Topics in atmospheric sciences and oceanography are studied using theory, demonstrations and exercises.
Main topics are geostrophy; the effect of friction in the surface and bottom boundary layer (Ekman dynamics); waves in homogeneous and stratified fluids, with and without rotation effects; potential vorticity; the quasi-geostrophic framework; and barotropic and baroclinic instability.
On completion of the course the student should demonstrate the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- understands the governing equations of large-scale motion on a rotating planet
- understands steady state and balanced flows in the atmosphere and ocean
- understands the basics of waves in the atmosphere and ocean
- understands the basic principles of barotropic and baroclinic instability
- understands the basic principles of potential vorticity conservation
- can scale and simplify the governing equations for solving basic dynamical problems
- can formulate and solve problems in a geostrophic framework
- can formulate and apply wave theory to various types of waves in the atmosphere and ocean
- can formulate and use Ekman theory
- can formulate problems in a quasi-geostrophic framework
- is able to discuss basic governing equations in dynamical meteorology and oceanography
- is able to derive, scale and simplify the governing equations
- is able to present and discuss dynamical phenonema in the atmosphere and ocean
Level of Study
Semester of Instruction
Place of Instruction
Required Previous Knowledge
This is a theoretical course which requires a solid mathematical background. To follow the course you must be familiar with (and be able to use) concepts like differential equations, partial derivatives, curl, the equation of motion in a rotating frame of reference, the Coriolis force, geostrophic flow, Ekman dynamics. You also need to have basic programming skills in e.g. Matlab, Python or similar.