Elements of Physical Oceanography

1st Edition

A derivative of the Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences


  • John Steele
  • Steve Thorpe
  • Karl Turekian
  • Elements of Physical Oceanography

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    Elements of Physical Oceanography is a derivative of the Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, 2nd Edition and serves as an important reference on current physical oceanography knowledge and expertise in one convenient and accessible source. Its selection of articles—all written by experts in their field—focuses on ocean physics, air-sea transfers, waves, mixing, ice, and the processes of transfer of properties such as heat, salinity, momentum and dissolved gases, within and into the ocean. Elements of Physical Oceanography serves as an ideal reference for topical research.

    Key Features

    • References related articles in physical oceanography to facilitate further research
    • Richly illustrated with figures and tables that aid in understanding key concepts
    • Includes an introductory overview and then explores each topic in detail, making it useful to experts and graduate-level researchers
    • Topical arrangement makes it the perfect desk reference


    professionals, researchers, and graduate students in the marine sciences

    Table of Contents

    • Surface Waves, Tides, and Sea Level
      • Elements of Physical Oceanography: Introduction
        • Editorial Advisory Board Members who helped in the production of this volume
      • Surface Gravity and Capillary Waves
        • Introduction
        • Basic Formulations
        • Linear Waves
        • The Group Velocity
        • Second Order Quantities
        • Waves on Currents: Action Conservation
        • Nonlinear Effects
        • Resonant Interactions
        • Parasitic Capillary Waves
        • Wave Breaking
        • See also
      • Wave Generation by Wind
        • Introduction
        • Theories of Wave Growth
        • Experiments and Observations
        • Numerical Modeling of the Wind Input
        • Conclusions
        • See also
      • Rogue Waves
        • Introduction
        • Surface Gravity Waves
        • Physical Mechanisms
        • Statistics of Large Waves
        • Experiments and Observations
        • Numerical Simulations
        • Conclusions
        • See also
      • Waves on Beaches
        • Introduction
        • The Dynamics of Incident Waves
        • Radiation Stress: the Forcing of Mean Flows and Set-up
        • Nonlinear Incident Waves
        • Vertically Dependent Processes
        • 2HD Flows - Circulation
        • Infragravity Waves and Edge Waves
        • Shear Waves
        • Conclusions
        • Nomenclature
        • See also
      • Wave Energy
        • Introduction
        • Wave Power: Resource and Exploitation
        • Economics of Wave Power Conversion
        • Concluding remarks
        • See also
      • Whitecaps and Foam
        • Introduction
        • Spilling Wave Crests: Stage A Whitecaps
        • Decaying Foam Patches: Stage B Whitecaps
        • Wind-Dependence of Oceanic Whitecap Coverage
        • Stabilized Sea Foam
        • Global Implications
        • See also


    No. of pages:
    © 2009
    Academic Press
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the authors

    John Steele

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

    Steve Thorpe

    Affiliations and Expertise

    National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and Bangor University, U.K.

    Karl Turekian

    KARL KAREKIN TUREKIAN (1927–2013) Karl Turekian was a man of remarkable scientific breadth, with innumerable important contributions to marine geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, cosmochemistry, and global geochemical cycles. He was mentor to a long list of students, postdocs, and faculty (at Yale and elsewhere), a leader in geochemistry, a prolific author and editor, and had a profound influence in shaping his department at Yale University. In 1949 Karl joined a graduate program in the new field of geochemistry at Columbia University under Larry Kulp with students Dick Holland and his fellow Wheaton alums Wally Broecker and Paul Gast. This was a propitious time as Columbia’s Lamont Geological Observatory had only been established a few years beforehand. It was during these years that Karl began to acquire the skills that led to his rapid emergence as a leader in geochemistry. After a brief postdoc at Columbia, Karl accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Geology at Yale University in 1956, where he set out to create a program in geochemistry from scratch. Karl spent the rest of his life on the Yale faculty and was immersed in geochemistry to the end. He was deeply involved in editing this edition of the massive Treatise on Geochemistry, which has grown to 15 volumes, until only a month before his passing away on 15 March 2013. Karl turned to the study of deep-sea cores and especially the analysis of trace elements to study the wide variety of geochemical processes that are recorded there. His work with Hans Wedepohl in writing and tabulating the Handbook of Geochemistry (Turekian, 1969) was a major accomplishment and this work was utilized by many generations of geochemists. Teaming up with his graduate students and in association with Paul Gast, he developed a mass spectrometry lab at Yale and began to thoroughly investigate the Rb–Sr isotopic systematics of deep-sea clays, not only as repositories but also as sites for exchange to occur and s

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Yale University, Connecticut, USA