Descriptive Physical Oceanography book cover

Descriptive Physical Oceanography

An Introduction

The 6e of Descriptive Physical Oceanography provides an introduction to descriptive physical oceanography for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The emphasis is on large-scale oceanography, based mainly in observations, with some topics from waves and coastal oceanography also included. Topics include the physical properties of seawater, heat and salt budgets, instrumentation, data analysis methods, introductory dynamics, oceanography and climate variability of each of the oceans and of the global ocean, and brief introductions to the physical setting, waves, and coastal oceanography.

For advanced undergraduates and graduate students in the marine sciences and oceanography.

Hardbound, 560 Pages

Published: April 2011

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-7506-4552-2


  • Chapter 1: Introduction to descriptive physical oceanography
    Chapter 2: Ocean dimensions, shapes and bottom materials
    Chapter 3: Physical properties of seawater
    Chapter 4: Typical distributions of water characteristics
    Chapter 5: Mass, salt and heat budgets and wind forcing
    Chapter 6: Data analysis concepts and observational methods
    Chapter 7: Dynamical processes for descriptive ocean circulation
    Chapter 8: Gravity waves, tides, and coastal oceanography
    Chapter 9: Atlantic Ocean
    Chapter 10: Pacific Ocean
    Chapter 11: Indian Ocean
    Chapter 12: Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas
    Chapter 13: Southern Ocean
    Chapter 14: Global circulation and water properties

    Supplemental texts (web only):
    Chapter S1: Brief history of physical oceanography
    Chapter S7: (expanded) Dynamical processes for descriptive ocean circulation
    Chapter S8: Gravity waves, tides, and coastal oceanography (additional materials)
    Chapter S15: Climate and the oceans
    Chapter S16: Instruments and Methods


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