OCEAN 210 | Autumn 2016

Integrative Oceans

Credits: 4

Instructor(s): Dr. Anne Gothmann

Prerequisites: Either Ocean 101, Ocean 200, or OCEAN 250/BIOL 250/FISH 250; recommended: either PHYS 114 or PHYS 121.

This is offered as part of the Marine Biology Quarter in Autumn, 2016.

We will learn about the processes that control the large scale surface and deep water circulation of the ocean. We will look at the distribution of temperature, salinity, and chemical tracers to detect the circulation pathway of currents in the deep sea. In the surface ocean, we will learn how the ocean responds to forcing from surface winds and how this response controls the pattern and speed of surface currents. Topics include temperature-salinity analysis; Coriolis force, geostrophic equilibrium, upwelling, water mass identification; water, salt, and heat budgets; advection and diffusion.

The course is both quantitative and descriptive. Thus familiarity with basic concepts (e.g., units, forces, vectors,) covered in an introductory Physics class will help. Although the exams and problem sets are quantitative, the mathematical skill level is fairly basic. Basic familiarity with Excel, or a similar spreadsheet program, will be needed for some problem sets.

Enrollment limited to 20 students. No textbook is required for this course.