Ocean Circulation


  • Open University, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK

This second edition retains the general structure of the first edition, buthas been updated in the light of recent oceanographic research, and improvedas a teaching text on the basis of feedback from past students and otherreaders.Notable additions include new sections addressing the topic ofnumerical modelling, and more discussion of natural oscillations in theocean-atmosphere system (previously confined to the El Niño phenomenon). Inparticular, the Chapter on the North Atlantic now includes a discussion ofthe North Atlantic Oscillation, as well as of the Great Salinity Anomaly. Inthe final Chapter, treatment of water mass formation has been updated toreflect recent ideas about the processes involved and how they relate toclimatic change over different time-scales, from decades to millennia.
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Open University and other oceanography students world wide.


Book information

  • Published: August 2001
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-5278-0


...remains an excellent choice for a course that introduces ocean circulation and physical oceanography in an intuitive nonmathematical way. Without much advanced mathematics, the book continues to present the basic dynamics of ocean circulation without getting bogged down in derivations. For those who want a nonmathematical introduction to ocean circulation and physical oceanography, Ocean Circulation continues to be the text of choice - The Bulletin of the American Meteorlogical Society

Table of Contents

Introduction: The radiation balance of the earth-ocean-atmosphere system; The Atmosphere and the ocean: The Global Wind System; Poleward Transport of heat by the atmosphere; Atmosphere-Ocean Interaction; Ocean Currents: The action of wind on surface waters; Inertia currents; Geostrophic currents; Divergences and convergences; The energy of the ocean: scales of motion; The North Atlantic gyre: Observations and theories: The gulf stream; The subtropical gyres; Modern observations and studies of the north atlantic gyre; Coastal upwelling in eastern boundary currents; The north atlantic oscillation; Other major current systems: Equatorial current systems; Monsoonal circulation; The role of long waves in ocean circulation; El Nino-southern oscillation; Circulation in high latitudes; Global fluxes and the deep circulation: The oceanic heat budget; Conservation of Salt; Ocean water masses; Oceanic mixing and temperature-salinity diagrams; Non-conservative and artificial tracers; Global fluxes of heat and freshwater; Suggested further reading; Answers and comments to questions; Acknowledgements; Index