Introduction to Physical Oceanography


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This short introduction is aimed to high school students. It is a hands-on class on some basic concepts that govern the dynamics of the ocean. Very simple materials are used (water, food coloring, cans, almost everything can be found in your kitchen). Here is the proof: some nice videos available at the Kitchen Oceanography page, and done in my kitchen.

We have prepared a series of slides that give a step-by-step description of each experience, with the objectives and the materials needed:

The aim of these experiences is to show the effect of salt and temperature in the dynamics of the ocean, like this illustration on the effect of temperature: cold water is denser, so it stays at the bottom (inside the jar), while warm water is lighter, so it escapes the jar and goes to the surface:

The effect of salinity is easily demonstrated using a couple of soft drink cans (where sugar takes the place of salt). And some nice structures can be seen when placing an ice cube on stratified water:

More details in the | slides (in French)

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