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Physical OceanographyAn Introduction

Physical OceanographyAn Introduction



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Published by peterttkok

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Published by: peterttkok on Jul 21, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Physical OceanographyAn Introduction
Oceanography is the general name given to the scientificstudy of the oceans. It is historically divided in terms of the basic sciences into physical, biological, chemical, andgeological oceanography. This book is concernedprimarily with one of these applications, which is thephysics of the ocean. Physical oceanography ishistorically approached both descriptively anddynamically
The distinction between these two is often ill-defined, particularly with the recent explosivegrowth in numerical modeling, which is used forboth process modeling and ocean simulation, andassimilation of data into numerical models, mainlyfor simulation and predictive capability. Perhaps amore useful categorization of scientificapproaches is the distinction between those withthe goal of understanding a specific process andthose with the goal of basic description orsimulation of the ocean’s motions. Observationsand numerical modeling are used for both of thesegoals.
The goal of descriptive physical oceanographyis to obtain a clear and systematic descriptionof the oceans, sufficiently quantitative to permitus to predict some aspects of their behavior inthe future with some certainty. Understandingthe basic elements of the ocean environmentfocuses dynamical understanding and permitsuseful, quantitative evaluation of ocean models.

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