Ocean dynamics

Disciplinary field: Ocean/Atmosphere
Level: M1 or M2
Credits: 3 ECTS

Teachers: Sabrina Speich (ENS), Sébastien Masson (LOCEAN)
Teaching type: Cours/TD/TP
Hourly volume: 30h



The objective of this course is to bring fundamental concepts of ocean dynamics. For each of the phenomena we will study, we will simplify the analysis to keep only the necessary ingredients.

Part 1 (Sabrina Speich) : Dynamics of the general ocean circulation
We will study the elementary bricks of ocean dynamics: the large-scale ocean circulation forced by winds, the vertical structure of the
ocean, the importance of ocean eddies. At the end of this part, we will look at how all these bricks coexist by taking the example of the
Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

Part 2 (Sébastien Masson): Processes responsible for the ocean surface temperature variability.
In this second part of the course, we will focus on the ocean surface temperature which has a considerable influence on the atmosphere
over a wide range of time scales. We will first present a method for the statistical analysis of the variability of surface temperature. We will
then derive the equation that governs the ocean surface temperature and will detail the three main processes that can influence it (airsea
fluxes, lateral advection, exchanges with the ocean subsurface) by illustrating them in the context of particular phenomena (e.g.
oceanic response to a cyclone, the Madden Julian Oscillation, the El Niño phenomenon, decadal variability of the surface ocean at midlatitudes).