12.820 | Spring 2007 | 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.


Introduction to turbulence in geophysical systems, including 3-D, 2-D, and quasi-geostrophic turbulence. Transition to turbulence through primary and secondary instabilities. Statistical theories of fully-developed turbulence. Influence of stratification and rotation. Parameterization of turbulent processes in ocean models.


Transition to turbulence

Statistics and turbulence


3D turbulence

Two-D turbulence

QG turbulence

Mean field approximation

SQG turbulence

Effective diffusivity

Transformed Eulerian mean

Transformed Eulerian mean in 3D

Particle motions, Stokes’ drift

Atmospheric macroturbulence

Baroclinic turbulence

Wind-driven turbulence


Turbulent boundary layers

Nonlinear internal waves, solitary waves

Topographic waves

Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2007
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