Physics and Chemistry of the Ocean

Sommersemester 2021
Dozent: N. Frank, A. Schröder-Ritzrau, S. Warken
34 Teilnehmer/innen

This lecture is about the processes that drive the physical motion of the ocean, at its surface and within its interior. We start with an historcial view on ocean science and move through the physics of motion to the (bio)chemical cycles of the big power plant as Wally Broecker refered to the ocean. As we follow tracers through the sea we can appreciate future challenges, isotope methods, past ocean - climate interactions, and future problems.

The introduction will be on the 15. April 17:00, but the course itself will be a block lecture course from the 26. July to the 30. July with morning lectures and afternoon homework. We apologize for the inconvienient timing, but this semester there have been too many obligations for other lectures to fit this one in addition to our weekly program.

Nevertheless, we hope this will be a fun week to come ...

Physics and Chemistry of the Ocean

The lecture follows the following subjects:

  • Introduction (Modern Challenges and Historical Innovation)
  • A Brief Introduction to Physical Oceanography (Understanding wind driven and thermohaline flow)
  • Water is not just water (The chemical Consituents its sources sinks and transport processes)
  • The carbon cycle and limiting elements (Understanding the physical, chemical and biological pumping and its rates)
  • Isotopes and models (How to use isotopes and models to trace modern and past elemental cycles and water movements)
  • Particules and Plastic in the Ocean (Tales from the continental weathering, chemical sedimentation and human Influences)
  • Past Ocean Dynamics and climate (A brief introduction of cutting edge tracers to look into the past, and future challenges)

This semester we will not conduct calculations as exercises during the short block course. Hence we will work through historical and modern publications in the afternon to put the knowledge into perspective.


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Physics and Chemistry of the Ocean
Sommersemester 2021
N. Frank, A. Schröder-Ritzrau, S. Warken
34 Teilnehmer/innen
To follow this lecture there are numerous excellent textbooks.
  1. Marine Geochemistry (M. Roybarman and C. Jeandel): Online available (here)
  2. Biogeochemical Cycles(J. Sarmiento and N. Gruber) (not available online)
  3. Ocean Circulation (Open University Course Team (see Moodle))
  4. Tracers in the Sea (W.S. Broecker and T-H Peng): Open Source (pdf)
  5. Introduction to Physical Oceanography (R. Stewart): Open Source (pdf)