Introduction to Physical Oceanography

METEO 451: Introduction to Physical Oceanography


I started teaching physical oceanography shortly after I joined the faculty of the Department of Meteorology at Penn State in 1993. The two physical oceanography courses I taught were Meteo 022 (The Oceans) and Meteo 451 (Introduction to Physical Oceanography). Meteo 451 is an upper-level course for meteorology majors while Meteo 022 (no longer offered) was a course for non-majors. For both courses, I developed notes clean enough to share with students. The notes here, for Meteo 451, were written originally in Adobe FrameMaker and saved as PDFs. In 2019, learning designers at Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute (including Maria Wherley) converted these PDFs to a web-based format that is easy to update. In 2023, after taking off several years from teaching Meteo 451, I started updating the notes.

Though Meteo 451 is a course for upper-level meteorology majors, who have been introduced to the main conservation equations, no such background is assumed in these notes. The main background students need to understand these notes are calculus-based courses in physics (mainly mechanics), vector calculus, and differential equations.

I hope what you find here to be useful for your own learning or teaching.

Ray Najjar

Penn State logo