What is Physical oceanography: Definition and 11 Discussions

Physical oceanography is the study of physical conditions and physical processes within the ocean, especially the motions and physical properties of ocean waters.
Physical oceanography is one of several sub-domains into which oceanography is divided. Others include biological, chemical and geological oceanography.
Physical oceanography may be subdivided into descriptive and dynamical physical oceanography.Descriptive physical oceanography seeks to research the ocean through observations and complex numerical models, which describe the fluid motions as precisely as possible.
Dynamical physical oceanography focuses primarily upon the processes that govern the motion of fluids with emphasis upon theoretical research and numerical models. These are part of the large field of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) that is shared together with meteorology. GFD is a sub field of Fluid dynamics describing flows occurring on spatial and temporal scales that are greatly influenced by the Coriolis force.

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  1. R

    Integral of Acceleration with respect to time

    Homework Statement Acceleration is defined as the second derivative of position with respect to time: a = d2x/dt2. Integrate this equation with respect to time to show that position can be expressed as x(t) = 0.5at2+v0t+x0, where v0 and x0 are the initial position and velocity (i.e., the...
  2. B

    One Physics MS semester left - what courses to take?

    Hello all, I've got one more semester before I earn my physics MS, and I have space for one or two extra courses. I am going into oceanography, and I would like to have a strong foundation in math in order to understand the theory I'll encounter as well as possible. Lots of physical...
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    Volume Fluxes and Associated Velocities

    Homework Statement Suppose that the volume transport associated with the wind-driven circulation's western boundary current (such as the Gulf Stream) is 50 x 10^6 m^3/second. Assume that this volume transport is carried in a current of uniform speed which is 50 km wide and 1 km thick...
  4. G

    Heat Flux Calculation: August-February Net Loss

    If mean seawater temperatures vary from 20C in August to 3C in February, for a patch of water with a depth of 10 meters, what is the net heat flux lost (in W m^-2) to the atmosphere from August to February?
  5. G

    Heat Flux Calculation: August to February

    If mean seawater temperatures are 20C in August and 3C in February, for a patch of water with a depth of 10 meters, what is the net heat flux (in W m^-2) to the atmosphere from August to February?
  6. G

    Help: Volume Fluxes and Associated Velocities

    Suppose that volume transport of an ocean current is 50 x 10^6 m^3/s. Assume that this volume transport is carried in a current of uniform speed which is 50 km wide and 1 km thick. What is the average velocity of the current? Suppose that the velocity of a current is 0.2 m/s. Assume that...
  7. micromass

    Introduction to Physical Oceanography by Stewart

    Author: Robert Stewart Title: Introduction to Physical Oceanography Download Link: http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/PDF_files/book_pdf_files.html Prerequisities: Contents:
  8. S

    Can Ocean Waves Really Travel That Fast?

    A former sea captain recounts a stormy night in Atlantic when he observed waves with wavelengths of a few metres passing his 51m long ship in less than 3s. Should you believe him? How do we go about answering this question? I have no idea where to start from, well, we learned about group...
  9. P

    Physical Oceanography / Tide Problem

    Homework Statement Two ports along a coastline are 300 km apart. One port has high tides 30 minutes later than the other. How deep is the effective depth for the tidal propagation? Homework Equations I am thinking I need the following equation: V = square root (g*H). V = velocity. g...
  10. S

    Physical oceanography, geomatics

    Hello, Is anyone here interested in oceanography? I'd like to do some independent research on undersea geomatics and digital mapping. In addition to a review of basic physics and a reading up on physical oceanography, what would be a good regimen of reading material to get me up to speed? I'm...
  11. O

    Physical Oceanography: Global Warming & Earth's Ocean

    I just thought I would bring this field of study up because the subject of how the Earths Ocean works is one that is becoming ever more important in gaining an understanding of global warming the greatest threat to our survival as a species. I'ld like to see some discussion on the role the ocean...
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