12.820 | Spring 2006 | Graduate
Turbulence in the Ocean and Atmosphere


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


The mathematics and physics required for admission to the graduate curriculum in the EAPS department, fluid dynamics at the level taught in Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean (12.800), or consent of the instructor.


This course presents the phenomena, theory, and modeling of turbulence in the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. The scope ranges from centimeter to planetary scale motions. The regimes of turbulence include homogeneous isotropic three dimensional turbulence, convection, boundary layer turbulence, internal waves, two dimensional turbulence, quasi-geostrophic turbulence, and macrotrubulence in the ocean and atmosphere.


  • Transition to turbulence
  • Statistics and turbulence
  • Convection
  • Atmospheric convection
  • 3D Turbulence and tracers
  • Closure schemes for 3D turbulence
  • Ocean turbulence
  • 2D turbulence
  • QG turbulence
  • Particle dispersion and drift
  • Tracer turbulence
  • Transformed eulerian mean
  • Mean-field approximation
  • Active tracer transport
  • Boundary layer turbulence