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Physical Oceanography
Main content
The course gives an overview over physical properties, flows and transport phenomena in stratified water bodies (reservoirs, lakes and the oceans). The focus is the oceans, their currents and the role of the seas in the global climate system. Those completing the course are able to interpret basic flow equations and apply them to phenomema.
Objectives
students are able to
- apply the basic conservation principles of physics to stratified water.
- apply and explain fundamental solutions of physical models characterising the flow in
the ocean. - describe the transport mechanisms in stratified environmental flow systems.
- describe and explain the large scale flow in the ocean and its role in the global climate
system.
Lecturers
Dr. Matthias Münnich (MM)
e-mail:
Dr. Gian-Kasper Plattner (GKP)
e-mail:
Dr. Thomas Frölicher (TF)
e-mail:
Lectures and Tutorials
week | lecture | tutorial |
---|---|---|
1 | Overview and Introduction | |
2 | Equation of State, Hydrostatic and Stratification | Wiki & Matlab Introduction |
3 | Ocean Water Masses | Set 1, Tutorial A |
4 | Mixing I: Viscosity and Diffusion, Transport Equations | Set 1, Tutorial B |
5 | Mixing II: Turbulent Transport | Set 2, Tutorial A |
6 | Meridional Overturning Circulation | Set 2, Tutorial B |
7 | Biogeochemical Tracers in the Ocean | Set 3, Tutorial A |
8 | Wind-driven Circulation 1: Momentum Equation; Geostrophy | Set 3, Tutorial B |
9 | Wind-driven Circulation 2: Ekman Layer Sverdrup Transport | Set 4, Tutorial A |
10 | Gulf Stream and Other Wind-driven Ocean Currents | Set 4, Tutorial B |
11 | Water Waves | Set 5, Tutorial A |
12 | Waves II, El Niño | Set 5, Tutorial B |
13 | Ocean and the Climate System: The Past | Set 6, Tutorial A |
14 | Ocean and the Climate System: The Future | Set 6, Tutorial B |
Online Resources
Moodle course material:
https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=1778
Wiki: https://oceanwiki.ethz.ch
(Please register!)
Problem-Sets
- 6 Problem sets. Envisioned time effort per problem set: 3h.
- Please note: Some problem sets require a basic knowledge of Matlab.
- The handing-in of a solution sheet is optional.
- One point is awarded if a solution sheet shows a clear effort to solve all problems of a problem set.
- While students are encouraged to work in groups to solve the problems, a student must have handed in his own solution sheet to be awarded a point.
Timeline for problem-sets
- Tuesday 5pm: The problem-set is posted online in Moodle.
- Wednesday 8–10am: Lecture on the topics of the problem-set.
- Wednesday 1–2pm: Tutorial A: The assistant gives a short introduction to the problems. The remaining time is used to solve the problem set.
- Tuesday noon: Deadline to hand in your solution attempt.
- Tuesday 5pm: Solutions are posted on Moodle.
- Wednesday 1–2pm: Tutorial B: Discussion of the solutions of the problem set. Each student can volunteer to present the solution of a problem to earn an additional point form the final grade.