12.803 Quasi-balanced Circulations in Oceans and Atmospheres

K. A. Emanuel
Dynamics of large-scale circulations in oceans and atmospheres, taken concurrently with the laboratory subject 12.804. Basic concepts include mass and momentum conservation, hydrostatic and geostrophic balance, and pressure and other vertical coordinates. Barotropic vorticity equation: potential vorticity (PV) and invertibility; Greens functions/point vortices; balance in forced flow, waves, and vortices. Shallow water equations, geostrophic adjustment. Stratified atmospheres and oceans: thermodynamics. The quasi-geostrophic (QG) equations, pseudo potential vorticity. Barotropic and baroclinic instabilities and the Rayleigh, Fjortoft and Chanrey-Stern theorems. Eady and Charney models. The superposition theorem and the continuous spectrum. Effects of boundary friction, upward wave radiation, and phase change of water. Frontogenesis and semigeostrophy.