Objectives and Content
This course aims to give students the background for a basic description of turbulence and mixing in the boundary layer of atmosphere and ocean, and for assessing the relative importance and relevance of turbulence in processes related to meteorology, oceanography and climate.
An introduction to turbulence and turbulent exchange processes in the atmospheric boundary layer and the ocean mixed layer is given. The course covers homogenous turbulence theory, definition and measurement of turbulent fluxes, and the influence of stratification in the boundary layer in the atmosphere and in the ocean. The budget equations are derived, and the different terms are discussed. Various theoretical models based on simplifications of the budget equations are introduced and their practical importance for measurement and data analysis is highlighted. Air-sea and air-sea-ice interactions are briefly discussed together with the turbulence beneath sea ice. The vertical profiles of temperature and velocity, and their turbulent fluxes are described and discussed for different forcing conditions. An overview of the common instruments and measurement methods is given.
Bachelor in meteorology and oceanography, Bachelor's degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics or equivalent programs.
On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- has a basic understanding of the salient features of turbulent boundary layers in atmosphere and ocean
- has knowledge on the spectral evolution of turbulence, and the dominant terms of the budget equations for turbulence
- has knowledge on sources and mechanisms driving turbulence in ocean and atmosphere, and at the boundary between them
- can calculate and interpret key turbulent parameters using direct and indirect methods from a corresponding data set
- can choose relevant instrumentation and method to measure and analyze data to describe the key turbulent parameters and fluxes in the atmosphere and ocean
- can estimate and discuss mixing and spreading of properties under different forcing conditions
- can assess the role of turbulent mixing in the global circulation and stratification of oceans
- can assess the role of turbulence for the structure and dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer