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: MT37F Oceanography
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Keith Haines


Type of module:

Summary module description:

After presenting the observational evidence for the global ocean circulation, and the in situ and satellite instruments used, the 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 ship based and statellite observations;

• Solve basic problems in ocean dynamics;

• Explain some of the current challenges at the cutting edge of research into observing and modelling the oceans.

This module will be assessed to a greater depth than the excluded module MT37F.

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;

• Adjustment of the large-scale ocean circulation; multiple equilibria; the ocean carbon cycle; sea level change.


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. The course also includes an assessed written assignment to be submitted in week 9. 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 80
Written assignment including essay 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

2-hour examination.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 50% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resit examination.

    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: 20 April 2018


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