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Understanding the dynamics of wind-driven ocean circulation

Ledoux, R.M. (2015) Understanding the dynamics of wind-driven ocean circulation. Bachelor's Thesis, Physics.

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This thesis describes several simple models of ocean flows, such as the Stommel model and the Munk model. Some physical and mathematical background is given on the concepts and equations of fluid dynamics, of which the Navier-Stokes equations are of biggest importance. These equations will be adapted to describe flows in a rotating spherical coordinate system that is applicable to large-scale flows on planet Earth and other planets. In order to make the models of interest analytically solvable, some simplifications are introduced. The curved planet's surface is, for instance, approximated by a tangent plane. The equations of Henry Stommel's Gulf Stream model are introduced and solved analytically. A more general approach to model ocean streams derived by Joseph Pedlosky is also introduced, from which both the Stommel model and the Munk model, another important model by Walter Munk, can be obtained. Finally, Pedlosky's method is used to introduce time-dependent tidal forces into the time-independent Stommel model. Several graphs and MATLAB scripts are included to visualize the models.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Physics
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:05
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:05

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