Three courses I regularly teach are “Introduction to Physical Oceanography (PO)”, “Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD)”, and “Coastal Physical Oceanography (CPO)”.
- Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
This is a graduate-level course on geophysical waves and instabilities (offered at Atmospheric Science department). The course in 2019 focused on four inter-related subjects: Quasigeostrophic (QG) system, Rossby wave, baroclinic instability, and (introductory) wave-mean interactions. These subjects have corresponding numerical experiments (see below), mostly using python-based QG codes (see the Dedalus project). Teaching GFD has been a wonderful learning opportunity for me, and it’s lots of fun.
Rossby wave generated from an oscillatory source (Haidvogel and Rhines 1983)
Zonal jets driven by stochastic stirring on a beta plane
The left panel is the meridional profile of zonal-mean zonal flow. The right panel shows snapshots of vorticity in a doubly periodic spatial domain. White-noise forcing is applied at a narrow strip. Radiation of Rossby waves is for example indicated by the NW-SE orientation of wave-front north of the forcing zone, which leads to momentum convergence into the stirred region and jet acceleration.
Equilibration of ocean eddies
Two contrasting cases of unstable Eady flow: left is inviscid; right is with Ekman drag. The size of eddies in the inviscid case appears to grow without bounds, whereas the case with drag appears to saturate.
Eddy propagation on a beta plane
Westward & southward drift of an anticyclone
Lab demos in PO class