Coastal Oceanography


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The coastal oceanography course is divided in two sections. A first section addresses the specificities of the coastal ocean from a hydrodynamic point of view. The second section addresses data analysis techniques in oceanography, with a special emphasis in the coastal ocean. The materials will be uploaded after the end of each section.


The image and captions point to the slides shown so far during the lessons:

Basic concepts Waves Estuaries Ocean Instrumentation

Reading assignments:

Coastal Oceanography: Franks et al 2013, Washburn et al 2013

Observing systems: Ohman et al, 2013

Access to the RACE database

The slides shown during the RACE introduction are here


  • Data visualisation/analysis


Currents in Calvi Bay

  • RACE query example file [1]
  • Stations with currents data in the Calvi Bay:

  1. Extract all current data (speed and direction) from the RACE database (see figures above)
  2. Transform speed and direction into North-South and East-West currents.
  3. Study the main currents in the Bay of Calvi:
    • Import the average currents for each location into ODV
    • Draw in a map the average currents at each of the locations
    • Calculate histograms of current direction at each location and compare with the currents in the map

Temperature and salinity variability in Calvi Bay

CTD data taken during 2014 at the submarine Canyon (depth ~100m) will be analysed

  • Install the Seabird software (Windows only)
  • Follow these instructions to transform the binary data into ascii data, and to import the data into ODV.
  • Study variability of temperature and salinity in Calvi Bay: how do these variables change with time? and with depth? Are there any extreme events? ...
    • Vertical sections (time/depth)
    • T/S diagrams
    • Individual profiles
    • ...

Air-sea fluxes

  • A brief explanation about the calculation of air-sea fluxes
  • Data for 2014.

Reference books and websites

  • Introduction to the Physical and Biological Oceanography of Shelf Seas. 2012. J.H. Simpson and J. Sharpless. Cambridge. 448pp
  • Data Analysis Methods in Physical Oceanography. 2001. W.J. Emery and R.E. Thomson. Elsevier Science Inc. 400 pp.


The Coastal Oceanography course will be assessed in two parts: an exam about a theoretical aspect in coastal oceanography, and an exam about data analysis in coastal oceanography.

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