ESE 131: Physical Oceanography

This course gives an introduction to the fluid dynamics of the world ocean. Starting from the equations of motion, approximate models are formulated to understand the observed circulation and how the ocean might respond to different forcing conditions in past and future climates. Topics include Ekman boundary layers, wind-driven gyres, thermocline theory, baroclinic instability of mean currents, mesoscale eddies, dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, tides, inertia–gravity waves, small-scale mixing, the circulation of the deep ocean, and meridional overturning. (Winter 2018, Winter 2019)