Course title: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Course number: EART 172 and 272 (cross listed)

Instructor: Gary A Glatzmaier

Text: "Introduction to Geophysical Fluid Dynamics" by Benoit Cushman-Roisin

Course description:

This is an introduction to the study of fluid flow, starting with the fundamental concepts of inertia, pressure gradient, buoyancy, viscosity, rotation, and thermodynamics. The general equations governing conservation of mass, momentum, and energy are studied and traditional approximations to these equations are described for various problems. The lectures focus on the different styles of thermal convection and global circulation in the Earth's atmosphere and ocean. Applications to convection in the Earth's mantle and core and in other planets and stars are also discussed. An assigned computer modeling project provides the students the experience of defining a conceptual problem in fluid dynamics, setting up a system of equations that mathematically approximates the problem, developing a numerical method for solving the equations, programming the method on a computer, running a series of computer jobs that surveys the relevant parameter space, using a computer graphical post-processor to make movies to visualize and analyze the time-dependent numerical solutions, writing a paper on what was learned, and giving a presentation to the class describing the results.

 

Topics:

Week 1,2 - Concepts and equations of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics

- Cushman-Roisin chapters 1-3

Week 3,4 - Thermal convection and gravity waves

- Cushman-Roisin chapter 9

Week 5 - Geostrophic and barotropic flows

- Cushman-Roisin chapter 4

Week 6 - Viscous boundary layer flows

- Cushman-Roisin chapter 5

Week 7 - Barotropic waves and ocean circulation

- Cushman-Roisin chapters 6,8

Week 8 - Atmospheric circulation

- Cushman-Roisin chapters 18,19

Week 9 - Convection in the Earth's mantle and core and in stars

Week 10 - Presentations of computer modeling projects

 

This course is designed for upper-division science majors (EART 172) and graduate students (EART 272). More creative and comprehensive modeling results are expected from graduate students.