Wind Generated Surface Waves

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

To give physical insight into how the wind creates sea surface waves, how they travel and disperse across the ocean, and how they end up on a shore.

The course covers wind-generated waves, linear and non-linear theory of gravity waves in shallow and deep water, theories of how waves are generated by the wind and observation methods of waves and the treatment of wave data. Statistical tools in the interpretation of wave data and models of wave forecasting will also be discussed. Compulsory exercises and seminars are parts of the course.

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
- knows how the surface waves propagate and disperse in deep and shallow waters
- knows how the surface waves are created, how they interact, and how they dissipate


The student
- is able to apply statistical methods to handle wave observations
- is able to discuss how wave heights can be forecasted.

General competence:

The student
- can describe various wave prediction methods, numerical and manual
- can interpret output of wave forecast models

Semester of Instruction

Autumn, even numbered years. The course is taught when enough students enrol.
Enrolment to this course is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 33 for the autumn semester.
Please, see this page for more information:
Required Previous Knowledge

Bachelor's degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics (named Bachelor's degree in Meteorology and Oceanography until Fall 2017) or equivalent



Recommended Previous Knowledge
GEOF310, GEOF330 or GEOF339 and GEOF346 or GEOF331
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a master's programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Teaching and learning methods

The learning methods are lectures and seminars.

Lectures / 4 hours a week during 15 weeks

Seminars will be announced and take place instead of lectures.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Exercises and seminar (Valid for four semesters: The semester mandatory activities have been approved and the three following semesters.)
Forms of Assessment
Oral examination
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 both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.
Reading List


The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 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.
Examination Support Material
Course book and lecture notes
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.