ESCI 386 – Oceanography

ESCI 386 – Oceanography - Fall 2010
Instructor: Alvaro Montenegro
Contact: email – ; 867 2145
Office hours: Mondays, 14:00 to 17:00 (other times by appointment)
Online Textbook: Introduction to Physical Oceanography, Robert Stewart
Ocean circulation. Angela Colling, Open University Press
Selected passages will be made available to the class.
An introduction to the World’s Oceans. Sverdrup, Duxbury and Duxbury, McGraw Hill
Selected passages will be made available to the class.
Estuaries, a physical introduction, K.R. Dyer.
Selected passages will be made available to the class.
Ocean Biogeochemical dynamics, J.L Sarmiento and N. Gruber
Selected passages will be made available to the class.
Tentative Outline*:
1. Basics
Reading: Stewart, chapter 3, “The Physical Setting”
Physcial Setting
2. Density and stratification
Reading: Stewart, chapter 6, “Temperature Salinity Density”
3. Wind generated flow: Ekman
Reading: Passages from Ocean Circulation
4. Primary Production
4.1 Some facts about life in the oceans
Reading: Sverdrup et al., Chapter 13, “The Living Ocean”.
4.2 Introduction to Plankton
Reading: Marine Ecosystems and Plankton sections online Marine Science
text by Genny Anderson.
Reading 2: Sverdrup et al., Chapter 15, “The plankton, drifters ...”.
4.3 Controls of Primary Production
Reading: Sverdrup et al., Chapter 14, “Production and Life”.
5. Geostrophy and oceanic gyres
Reading: Stewart, chapter 10, “Geostrophic Currents”
6. Heat transport, water masses and meridional overturning circulation
Reading: Colling, Chapter 6 (selections), “Global Fluxes and the Deep Circulation”
7. Carbon in the Ocean
7.1 Gas exchanges between ocean and atmosphere
Reading: Sarmiento and Grouber, chapter 3 (selected portions)
7.2 The ocean carbon cycle
Reading: Sarmiento and Grouber, chapter 3 (selected portions)
8. Estuarine Circulation
Reading, : Dyer, (pg 1-10).
Reading 2: What drives estuarine circulation? Notes by Jody M. Klymak.
* Sequence might change. There might not be time to cover all themes.
End of term project
Five groups of three students each will write and present report on one particular
aspect of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The reports will be on :
 How does oil get formed. Geology of the Gulf and why do we thing there is oil
there. How do we find it? How do we extract it?
 Physical conditions. Mean circulation in the Gulf and how currents moved the
 Chemistry of oil spills in sea water and what happened to the spilled oil?
 The potential impacts of oil on biota and fishing resources. What happened on
this case?
 What happened? How do spills occur and which are more common?Why did
this platform fail? How did they plug it? What were the engineering and
financial/policy measures taken to minimize the environmental and social
impact of the event?
10% Demonstrations/Labs
30% Quiz 1
30% Quiz 2
30% End of term project (debates) **
** Participation of the audience is fundamental for the debate. One third of the end
term project grade (10% of the total grade) is based on individual presence during
other groups’ presentations.