Instructors
Prof. Raffaele Ferrari
Dr. Terrence Joyce
Course Description
This course covers topics like: Observational physical oceanography, physical description of the sea, physical properties of seawater, methods and measurements, winddriven ocean circulation, abyssal ocean circulation, boundary processes, and wave motions.
The mathematics and physics required for admission to the graduate curriculum in the WHOI/MIT Joint Program or consent of the instructor. The physical oceanography curriculum includes core courses (of which 12.808 is a part), mathematics courses, and electives. Each student formulates a program of studies with the assistance of academic advisors drawn from both MIT and WHOI.
Students are expected to attend research seminars and to complete widespread independent reading of the literature. The core curriculum is intended to provide the minimum, essential foundation in dynamics for students pursuing research in physical oceanography.
Course Organization
Homework: 5 homework assignments = 30% of grade
Presentations: Researching one type of measurement system used in physical oceanography = 30% of grade
Exam: Final exam at the end of class = 30% of grade
Calendar
1 
Some Physical Properties of Sea Water 
Problem set 1 out 
2 
Rotation 101: Some Basics 
Problem set 1 due 
3 
Rotation 101 (cont.): Effects of Rotation on a Sphere: f and βplanes
Earth's Gravity Field and Sea Level 

4 
Ekman Layers, Friction and Geostrophic Flow 
Problem set 2 out 
5 
WindDriven Circulation: Stommel's Gyre and Sverdrup's Balance 
Problem set 2 due 
6 
Stress in the Ocean 

7 
Observations of the Gulf Stream in the N. Atlantic 
Problem set 3 out 
8 
Global Hydrographic Climatology 
Problem set 3 due 
9 
Equatorial Twists to MidLatitude Dynamics 

10 
The Large Scale Thermohaline Circulation: Some Thermodynamics 
Problem set 4 out 
11 
The Thermohaline Circulation 
Problem set 4 due 
12 
Another Wrinkle on Observations of the Abyssal Ocean: Geothermal Heating and Hydrothermal Vents 

13 
Tidal Forces 
Problem set 5 out 
14 
Introduction to "Waves" and Time Dependent Motion 
Problem set 5 due 
15 
Internal Waves 
Presentations due 
16 
Final Exam 
