Skip to main content

Ocean Models



Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-31 - 2020-11-02
Entry level Bachelor

The main aim of the present course is to provide good understanding about how analytical and numerical models can be applied in different aquatic problems including lakes and coastal seas.The course will provide the student with scientific understanding and well-tested ocean model codes for a number of applications. By starting from simple scenarios the student will learn how to build up a more advanced understanding and getting confidence in numerical/ocean modelling.


1.Oceanographic Models, Part 1 (Oceanografiska modeller, del 1), 10 higher education credits

Part 1 will include introduction to numerical methods in oceanography, as well as an introduction to using large model codes written in FORTRAN and learning to compile and handle the system on linux. The course will focus on using the MITgcm. The dynamics of large scale ocean dynamics will also be discussed. The theoretical framework will discuss shallow water dynamics and includes Rossby adjustment, Kelvin waves, Rossby and topographic waves, equatorial waves, wind forced circulation such as wind driven upwelling, Sverdrup, Stommel and Munk type of of circulation, etc. The lectures will include seminars and numerical exercises.

2.Oceanographic Models, Part 2 (Oceanografiska modeller, del 2), 5 higher education credits

Part 2 will be devoted to a small project chosen by the students. The lectures will mainly be in the form of discussion seminars and help sessions.

The course date is approximate. The course is not given as a stand-alone course this academic year, but can be included in the program/course package. For information contact the department.

Grant opportunities

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Learning outcomes


Numerical methods is a standard tool for studying and evaluation various oceanographic processes and dynamical features. In this course the focus is on practical usage of

  1. Solving simple relevant equations using numerical method
  2. Use a state-of-the-art Ocean General Circulation Model (i.e. the MITgcm)
  3. Formulate analytical tools to evaluate processes in model output
  4. Considering a project based work (5 HEC) aiming at setting up model scenario, evaluate model dynamics, and present results.

After the course the student is expected to have learned to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Basic understanding of numerical methods in oceanography
  • Provide good understanding about how analytical and numerical model can be applied in marine science
  • Analyze model results from theoretical frameworks

Competence and skills

  • Organize and run numerical models for different marine applications
  • Being able to use one Ocean General Circulation model (GCM)
  • Using and compiling large FORTRAN codes and use programs for analyzing results
  • Present result from numerical models in oral and written form
  • Display critical thinking about model limitations

Judgement and approach

  • Evaluate and judge results from numerical models
  • Formulate and solve simple oceanographic problem using numerical ocean models
  • Judge the models ability to adequately describe important processes


120 credits in the field of Science where at least 60 credits must be in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Physical Oceanography, Meteorology or equivalent knowledge. Alternatively; Bachelor's Degree (180 credits) in Marine Sciences, including 15 credits within Physical Oceanography or equivalent knowledge.

ISCED Categories