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Modelling of Large-Scale Circulation in Atmosphere and Ocean

The course deals with flow phenomena of central importance in meteorology and oceanography. These are studied both theoretically and with a numerical circulation model used for the independent projects.

In this course, you will learn how to use and further develop a numerical model in order to study the large-scale ocean and atmosphere circulation. The course consists of a number of computer exercises, where you will study geophysical phenomena making use of the numerical circulation model. You will compare the model simulations with the analytical solutions. This will give an insight into both the geophysical phenomena and the shortcomings of the numerical model.
The exercises comprise

  • Geostrophic adjustment
  • Gravity, Poincaré waves and tidal waves
  • Kelvin waves (both coastal and equatorial)
  • Rossby waves (both atmospheric and oceanic for midlatitudes as well as for the Equatorial region)
  • The wind driven ocean circulation (Ekman, Sverdrup, Stommel and Munk theoretical models)


  • Course structure

    The course consists of four projects with corresponding lectures of the theory as well as supervision of the computer exercises.

    The projects are

    1. Geostrophic adjustment

    2. Kelvin waves

    3. Rossby waves

    4. The ocean gyre circulation

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of
    • Lectures of the theory behind the large-scale circulation
    • Supervision of the four computer exercises

    Participation in the computer exercises and associated tutorials is compulsory.

    Course material

    Grading criteria, course literature and other material and correspondence related to the course will be available on the course Athena-site at once you have registered for the course.


    Four written reports as well as an oral presentation of one of the four exercises at the end of the course.


    Here is a link to a list of course coordinators and examiners.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    You can search for schedules from previous years in TimeEdit, by entering the course code.

    Link to TimeEdit

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    • Geoffrey K. Vallis: Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, 2019. ISBN: 1107692792.
    • Döös, K., P. Lundberg and A. Aldama Campino: Basic Numerical Methods in Meteorology and Oceanography. In press. (Provided by MISU)
  • Course reports

  • More information

    Upcoming courses

    The course is held every autumn semester.

  • Contact

    Study counselor