spring 2023
FYS-3030 Fluid dynamics of atmospheres and oceans - 10 ECTS

Application deadline

Applicants from countries within EU/EEA: June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is available as a singular course. The course is also available to exchange students and Fulbright-students.

The course will only be taught if there is a sufficient number of students. If you are interested in following the course, please contact the student advisor as soon as possible

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are a Bachelors degree in physics or similar education, including specialization in physics worth the equivalent of not less than 80 ECTS credits. Local admission, application code 9371 - singular courses at Master's level.

Course overlap

If you pass the examination in this course, you will get an reduction in credits (as stated below), if you previously have passed the following courses:

FYS-8030 Fluid dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans 8 stp

Course content

The course gives the basic theory for the large-scale dynamics of atmospheres and oceans and provides the foundation for more specialized studies of atmosphere and ocean dynamics. The course includes the fundamental equations for atmosphere and ocean fluid dynamics, the effects of rotation and stratification, the beta-plan approximation, the Boussinesq and anelastic equations, scaling relevant for the Earth atmosphere and ocean circulations, the Rossby number, static instability and gravity waves, the Ekman layer, the shallow-water approximation and its wave solutions, available potential energy, vorticity, potential vorticity, the circulation theorems, Rossby waves and barotropic and baroclinic instability.

Recommended prerequisites

FYS-1001 Mechanics, FYS-2001 Statistical physics and Thermodynamics, FYS-2018 Global climate change, MAT-1003 Calculus 3, MAT-2200 Differential Equations

Objectives of the course

Knowledge - The student can

  • identify the basic equations relevant for the circulation in the atmosphere and ocean
  • describe the concept and the characteristics of constant density, barotropic and baroclinic fluids
  • explain the implication on a fluid by rotation, and describe the concept of an f-plane and beta-plane
  • explain the advantages and limitations of the Boussinesq and anelastic approximations, and describe the reasons for, and implications of the density variations in the Earth's atmosphere and ocean
  • describe the concept of thermal-wind balance
  • explain the role of static stability and instability and its implications for gravity and acoustic waves
  • describe the advantages and the limitations of the shallow-water approximation
  • identify wave solution to the shallow-water equations such as Kelvin and Poincaré waves
  • explain the Kelvin theorem and the concept of vorticity and potential vorticity
  • describe the quasi-geostrophic approximation and identify its Rossby wave solution
  • explain barotropic and baroclinic instability

Skills - The student can

  • solve basic problems within atmosphere and ocean fluid dynamics
  • apply appropriate scaling of equations associated with atmosphere and ocean fluid dynamical problems

General competence - The student can

  • incorporate current knowledge and new scientific information into critical thinking
  • communicate theories, problem descriptions and solutions

Language of instruction and examination

The language of instruction is English and all of the syllabus material is in English. Examination questions will be given in English, but may be answered either in English or a Scandinavian language.

Teaching methods

Lectures: 40 hours Exercises: 20 hours

Information to incoming exchange students

This module is open for exchange students with a Bachelor's degree in physics or similar education

Do you have questions about this module? Please check the following website to contact the course coordinator for exchange students at the faculty: https://en.uit.no/education/art?p_document_id=510412



Examination: Grade scale:
Oral exam A–E, fail F

Coursework requirements:

To take an examination, the student must have passed the following coursework requirements:

Assignments Approved – not approved
UiT Exams homepage

More info about the coursework requirements

  • Up to three assignments

Re-sit examination

There is no access to a re-sit examination in this course.
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: FYS-3030
  • Tidligere år og semester for dette emnet