Ocean Circulation

Ocean Circulation

Prepared by an Open University Course Team

2nd Edition - August 10, 2001

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  • Author: Open University
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080537948

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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.

Key Features

High quality full colour diagrams
Substantial chapter summaries ideal for revision
Answers, hints and notes for questions at back of the book


Open University and other oceanography students world wide.

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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 288
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2001
  • Published: August 10, 2001
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080537948

About the Author

Open University

Affiliations and Expertise

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

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