12.802 Wave Motions in the Ocean and Atmosphere

Spring 2004

An animated illustration of internal gravity waves.
 An animated illustration of internal gravity waves. (Image courtesy of Prof. Glenn Flierl.)

Course Highlights

This course includes detailed lecture notes.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to basic ideas of geophysical wave motion in rotating, stratified, and rotating-stratified fluids. Subject begins with general wave concepts of phase and group velocity. It also covers the dynamics and kinematics of gravity waves with a focus on dispersion, energy flux, initial value problems, etc. Also addressed are subject foundation used to study internal and inertial waves, Kelvin, Poincare, and Rossby waves in homogeneous and stratified fluids. Laplace tidal equations are applied to equatorial waves. Other topics include: resonant interactions, potential vorticity, wave-mean flow interactions, and instability.
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Prof. Glenn Flierl

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session