The course provides a descriptive introduction to physical processes in the ocean. Students will be given a broad introduction to the history of ocean sciences, ocean physiology, the basic physical and chemical properties of seawater, as well as an introduction to the basic principles of ocean circulation, mixing, tides and waves. Interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean, the ocean’s role in the heat budget, and connections to anthropogenic climate change will also be discussed. At the end of the course students will be able to explain the basic physiology of the ocean and will be able to use their knowledge for coastal and marine management.
On completion of the course, a student:
- has an understanding of, and can use, oceanographic terminology.
- can describe the basic physical and chemical properties of seawater.
- has an understanding of the basic principles of density and wind driven circulation in the ocean.
- can sketch simple schematics of basic oceanic circulation models, e.g. geostrophic circulation or Ekman transport.
- can provide an elementary explanation for tidal forcing.
- can distinguish and classify different types of waves.
- can design, carry out, and evaluate basic lab experiments and communicate the results.
- has an understanding of the role of the ocean in the climate system, especially with respect to coastal and marine management issues.
Only for students in Coastal and Marine Management (MRM programme)