Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: MT24A Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Keith Haines


Summary module description:
After discussing the observational difficulties involved in studying the oceans, this module shows how observed large scale features can be rationalised in terms of simple dynamical theories.

This module aims to provide an introduction to the large-scale circulation of the oceans and the impact of the oceans on the global climate.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module the student should able to: *Explain how the ocean circulation works and how it interacts with the climate system, *Make quantitative estimations of dynamical variables from hydrographic observations, *Solve basic problems in ocean dynamics.

Additional outcomes:
The students will enhance their general problem-solving skills.

Outline content:
Why study the oceans? Overview of the large-scale ocean circulation; methods of observing the large-scale circulation and observational difficulties.
Dynamical equations governing the oceans: the homogeneous ocean model; wind-driven gyres; boundary currents; vertical structure of the wind-driven circulation.
The thermohaline circulation: the conveyor-belt; the Stommel-Arons model; the role of mixing;
Adjustment of the large-scale ocean circulation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be a total of 15 50-minute core lecture classes. The remainder of the material will be learnt through problem solving classes. Additional, non-assessed problems will be distributed to assist self-learning outside the time-tabled classes.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study 80
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One 2-hour university examination.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resit examination in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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