Physics 589 – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
This is the homepage for a graduate course in geophysical fluid dynamics. The course is cross-listed this year with physics 526, fluid dynamics. If you need credit for fluid dynamics, sign up for that course. Otherwise, sign up for physics 589. In an experiment to accommodate non-local students, the course will be taught in a 2.5 hr session on a single afternoon each week, the day most likely being Wednesday. (I need to be out of town for a couple of Wednesdays this semester; we would need to make up those on another day of the same week, either Monday or Friday, depending on peoples' schedules.)
Here is a list of lectures:
Week
Date
Subject
1
24 Aug
Governing equations, hydrostatic and geostrophic balance
2
31 Aug
Tools and tricks of fluid dynamics
3
7 Sep
Wave modes of a resting atmosphere
4
14 Sep
Gravity waves in shear
5
21 Sep
Shallow water equations
6
28 Sep
Circulation theorem and potential vorticity
7
5 Oct
Quasi-geostrophic theory
8
12 Oct
Symmetric instability and Rossby waves
9
19 Oct
Barotropic instability
10
26 Oct
Baroclinic instability
11
2 Nov
Heating, friction, and ageostrophic wind
12
9 Nov
Equatorial dynamics
13
16 Nov
The ocean
14
23 Nov
Global circulations
15
30 Nov
Student presentations
16
7 Dec
Student presentations
Each three-hour section will include a mixture of problem discussions and lecture. Problems will be assigned a week in advance of the class discussion and will be handed in a few days after discussion. I will post lecture notes as feasible. The primary text for the course is
Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, 1st Ed.
by Geoffrey K. Vallis. It costs about $75 at the Barnes and Noble website. After discussions with others are done, please write up problem solutions on your own.
Rules for homework are presented
here
.
Class grading will have two components, problem solutions (60%) and class presentations of papers (40%). The presenter will lead the discussion of the paper or collection of papers in class and also post a 5-10 page summary of the contents of the paper(s).
Here
is a list of paper topics. Grading will be based on the class and written presentations, primarily on their accuracy and understandability. Assignments will be listed
here
.
Geoff Vallis at Princeton has assembled a
collection of reprints
of important but inaccessible papers in geophysical fluid dynamics. The classic paper by Hoskins, McIntyre, and Robertson (1985) is
here
.