Numerical Models of Oceans and Oceanic Processes


  • Lakshmi Kantha, University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.A.
  • Carol Clayson, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A.

Oceans play a pivotal role in our weather and climate. Ocean-borne commerce is vital to our increasingly close-knit global community. Yet we do not fully understand the intricate details of how they function, how they interact with the atmosphere, and what the limits are to their biological productivity and their tolerance to wastes. While satellites are helping us to fill in the gaps, numerical ocean models are playing an important role in increasing our ability to comprehend oceanic processes, monitor the current state of the oceans, and to a limited extent, even predict their future state.Numerical Models of Oceans and Oceanic Processes is a survey of the current state of knowledge in this field. It brings together a discussion of salient oceanic dynamics and processes, numerical solution methods, and ocean models to provide a comprehensive treatment of the topic. Starting with elementary concepts in ocean dynamics, it deals with equatorial, mid-latitude, high latitude, and coastal dynamics from the perspective of a modeler. A comprehensive and up-to-date chapter on tides is also included. This is followed by a discussion of different kinds of numerical ocean models and the pre- and post-processing requirements and techniques. Air-sea and ice-ocean coupled models are described, as well as data assimilation and nowcast/forecasts. Comprehensive appendices on wavelet transforms and empirical orthogonal functions are also included.This comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the field should be of interest to oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, and climatologists. While some prior knowledge of oceans and numerical modeling is helpful, the book includes an overview of enough elementary material so that along with its companion volume, Small Scale Processes in Geophysical Flows, it should be useful to both students new to the field and practicing professionals.
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Academics, graduate students, and researchers in oceanography, atmospheric science, meteorology, limnology, and fluid dynamics in general.


Book information

  • Published: May 1985
  • ISBN: 978-1-4933-0143-0


"This book...draws from many sources and an extensive background and experience in modeling to provide an understandable teaching tool and guide for research."
From the Foreword by Kirk Bryan, --Andrzej Icha, Polish Academy of Science

"...a tremendous source and time saver to numerical modelers...unhesitatingly recommended to anyone interested in numerical modeling."
--Applied Mechanics Reviews, Volume 54 (1), Jan 2001
"When reading the book, because of my own area of research I had a particular interest in seeing how well it covered the different Arakawa grids, the three main types of deep-ocean model, the theory of tides, the representation of sea-ice, isopycnal mixing and open boundary conditions. I was pleased to find that they were all included, which must be a first, and that the sections concerned were often excellent introductions to the subjects."
--D. Webb, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2001, Vol. 442.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kirk Bryan, Preface, Prologue1. Introduction to Ocean Dynamics 2. Introduction to Numerical Solutions 3. Equatorial Dynamics and Reduced Gravity Models 4. Midlatitude Dynamics and Quasi-Geostrophic Models 5. High-Latitude Dynamics and Sea-Ice Modeling 6. Tides and Tidal Modeling 7. Coastal Dynamics and Barotropic Models 8. Data and Data Processing 9. Sigma-Coordinate Regional and Coastal Models 10. Multilevel Basin Scale and Global Models 11. Layered and Isopycnal Models 12. Ice-Ocean Coupled Models 13. Ocean-Atmosphere Coupled Models 14. Data Assimilation and Nowcasts / Forecasts Appendix A: Equations of State; Appendix B: Wavelet Transforms; Appendix C: Empirical Orthogonal Functions and Empirical Normal Modes; Appendix D: Units and Constants References, Biographies, Index.