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Fysisk Oceanografi (Physical Oceanography )



Course format On-site
Date 2020-08-31 - 2020-12-21

General course objectives

This course gives students a general introduction to the physics the world’s oceans, shelf seas and estuaries. The course will focus on marine environments, knowledge that can be used both as a platform for more advanced studies of the topic, as a contribution to their development in marine ecology, fisheries and/or aquaculture, and provide a scientific background to sustainable development goals: 13 climate action and 14 life under water.


  • Physical properties of seawater.
  • Oceanic heat budget.
  • Dynamics of density & wind driven flows, tides, and waves.
  • Seasonal cycles of stratification and mixing; the spring bloom and tidal mixing fronts.
  • Estuaries and semi-enclosed basins.
  • Planetary rotation, and geostrophy.
  • Wind driven ocean circulation
  • Descriptive Regional Oceanography
  • The meridional overturn circulation
  • Paleo-oceanography
  • Oceans and climate.

Learning outcomes

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

  • Identify the major components affecting seawater density, calculate it using the equation of state, and calculate its dynamic influence on fluid flow.
  • Identify the major factors affecting shelf sea dynamics – inflow, winds, tides – and calculate the position of mixing fronts.
  • Identify the physical processes contributing to the spring bloom.
  • Describe the various instruments and technologies involved in ocean observation systems.
  • Use modern software applications (Ocean Data View) to analyse oceanographic data.
  • Construct and interpret box models of through-flow systems such as estuaries to examine the fate of nutrients and contaminants.
  • Calculate the magnitude of geostrophic currents, Ekman pumping, and upwelling, and explain the influence of these on marine productivity.
  • Explain the major features of wind driven surface circulation, atmosphere-ocean coupling, the meridional overturn circulation and their influence on climate.


ISCED Categories

Physical and chemical oceanography