Ocean Dynamics: steady circulation

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General information

The participant will be introduced to the main concepts of Ocean Dynamics for rotating and stratified turbulent fluids. The course is structured around ten main topics, each to be covered in one day. Each topic will have a theoretical background, where fundamental concepts will be discussed, and a practical exercise, where a laboratory and/or computer exercise will be discussed, developed and applied.

Programme information: 

Day 1. Thermodynamic variables. Static stability. Mass and momentum conservation. Non-dimensional equations. Explaining the Coriolis force. Mixing and surface forces. Laboratory exercises on stratification and mixing. Fundamentals on Phyton programing language.
Day 2. Energy and Bernoulli equations. Air-sea heat balance. Dynamic instability. Potential vorticity conservation. The Sverdrup, Munk and Stommel solutions. Laboratory exercises on gravity currents and shear mixing. Program 1: A simple model for glacial-interglacial changes in air-sea heat exchange.
Day 3.Thermohaline circulation. Laboratory exercise on the changing overturning circulation. Program 2: Switches in the Meridional Overturning Circulation.
Day 4. Ekman transport and the thermocline circulation. Coastal and equatorial upwelling. Ekman pumping. The subtropical and subpolar gyres, the subtropical cell. Program 3: Geostrophic circulation in depth, isopycnal and isoneutral coordinates.
Day 5. Discussion of recent papers. Course wrap up.

Learning outcome:

After completing the course the participant will have an intermediate knowledge of the major blocks underlying the dynamics of ocean circulation and mixing.

Contact Person: Francisco José Machín Jiménez (info@barcelona-ocean.com)


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.


Venue: Institut de Ciències del Mar
Barcelona, Spain

The Institute of Marine Sciences is located in Barcelona’s Villa Olimpica District between the Hospital del Mar and the Olympic Towers. 
Institut de Ciències del Mar
Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49



Full price of this course is 450€. A reduced registration fee of 360€ is applied for early registrations (20 days before the opening of the course)


Good background in Calculus and Physics and good general programming background. Please bring your own lap-top with Phyton language installed.

Application Procedure:

Use the ADD TO CARD button on the course's website to book a place and make your payment.


Students attending to at least 80% of the classes will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the course, signed by the Barcelona Ocean responsible person and by the Lecturer of the course.


Academic level: Master, PhD, Lifelong Learning
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