Modern Observational Physical Oceanography
Understanding the Global Ocean
Carl Wunsch

Editions

With the advent of computers, novel instruments, satellite technology, and increasingly powerful modeling tools, we know more about the ocean than ever before. Yet we also have a new generation of oceanographers who have become increasingly distanced from the object of their study. Ever fewer scientists collect the observational data on which they base their research. Instead, many download information without always fully understanding how far removed it is from the original data, with opportunity for great misinterpretation. This textbook introduces modern physical oceanography to beginning graduate students in marine sciences and experienced practitioners in allied fields. Real observations are strongly emphasized, as are their implications for understanding the behavior of the global ocean.

Written by a leading physical oceanographer, Modern Observational Physical Oceanography explains what the observational revolution of the past twenty-five years has taught us about the real, changing fluid ocean. Unlike any other book, it provides a broad and accessible treatment of the subject, covering everything from modern methods of observation and data analysis to the fluid dynamics and modeling of ocean processes and variability. Fully illustrated in color throughout, the book describes the fundamental concepts that are needed before delving into more advanced topics, including internal-inertial waves, tides, balanced motions, and large-scale circulation physics.

  • Provides an accessible introduction to modern physical oceanography
  • Written by a leading physical oceanographer
  • Emphasizes real observations of the fluid ocean
  • Features hundreds of color illustrations
  • An online illustration package is available to professors

Carl Wunsch is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a long-term visiting professor at Harvard University. His books include Discrete Inverse and State Estimation Problems: With Geophysical Fluid Applications and The Ocean Circulation Inverse Problem. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Society.