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Large scale turbulence in the Atmosphere and Ocean 2013

11.03.2013 - 19.04.2013

Week one: Lectures Monday-Friday, 10:15-13:00

               (Week 11, 11-15/3)

Week two: Lecture Monday-Thursday, 10:15-13:00

              (Week 16, 15-18/4)

Final presentation: 19/4

Registration deadline: February 25


Joe LaCase

Department of Geosciences

University of Oslo

Fon non-UiO ResClim-candidates travel expences will be covered. Please notify us about need for refund of travel expences in the registration form.


The course examines nonlinear motion in the atmosphere and ocean from the perspective of turbulence theory. We begin with a simplified system to illustrate how linear motion becomes chaotic with nonlinearity. Then we examine Kolmogorov's theory of 3-D turbulence, and its extension to two dimensions. We consider the implications for weather predictability and discuss how geophysical effects (the earth's rotation, stratification) alter the flows. Then we consider the dispersion of passive tracers, like volcanic ash and spilled oil, in turbulent flows.


The student will learn basic elements in statistics and chaos theory. The student will also learn
how nonlinear processes fundamentally affect the dynamics of atmospheric and oceanic flows, in
particular by making them unpredictable, requiring statistical descriptions. Nonlinear processes
are central to many observed phenomena, such as storm interactions and the transport of
heat, pollutants and biological material.


The course will be held over two weeks, with five lectures the first week and four during the second. Problems will be given out underway, to help the students understand the material. The students will make a final presentation of one or several papers on a topic of interest to them (which is also relevant to the course). There is no exam. The course has its own compendium; supplemental reading will be suggested.


Lecture 1: Statistics in a nutshell; Fourier transforms

Lecture 2: Chaos in a simplified system

Lecture 3: Energy conservation, triad interactions

Lecture 4: Kolmogorov's theory for 3-D turbulence

Lecture 5: 2-D turbulence

Lecture 6: Predictability and passive tracers

Lecture 7: The Beta effect and topography

Lecture 8: Stratified turbulence

Lecture 9: Turbulent dispersion





Registration deadline: February 25, 2013

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