Year
2020
Units
4.5
Contact
2 x 1-hour lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
10 x 3-hour computer labs per semester
13 x 4-hour independent studies per semester
10 x 1-hour on-line exercises per semester
Prerequisites
EASC1102 - Marine Sciences
Topic description
This topic offers the basic knowledge needed to understand what drives the ocean currents, forms distinct water masses in the world ocean, and shapes the physical characteristics of coastal oceans and estuaries. The topic is delivered in four parts. Part 1 describes the physical properties of seawater and covers the basics of descriptive and dynamical oceanography. Part 2 reviews how the distribution of continents and oceanic topographic features shape the currents and water masses of the various ocean basins. It also discusses the ocean's role in climate variability and climate change. Part 3 deals with dynamical features of coastal oceans, such as upwelling and density fronts, and discusses their role in marine productivity and diversity. Part 4 focuses on the circulation in estuaries including pollutant dispersal, suspended sediment dynamics, and flushing time estimation.
Educational aims
The educational aim of this topic is to educate students in the field of oceanography with a focus on dynamical processes in coastal regions and estuaries that uniquely shape the marine environment.
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Have a clear understanding of the physical processes that shape the marine environment
  2. knowledge of the associated techniques (water-mass analysis, geostrophic method, etc.) and an ability to apply these techniques in a wide range of settings
  3. Demonstrate enhanced problem-solving, critical-thinking and reasoning abilities
  4. Have an appreciation of the evolution of the key ideas in the ocean and climate sciences