AGF-214 Polar Ocean Climate (15 ECTS)

Cruise in Krossfjorden

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ID:
AGF-214
CREDITS:
15 ECTS
START DATE:
8 August 2017
END DATE:
29 November 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Autumn semester (August–November/December), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Book chapters, articles, compendia; ca. 350 pages
COURSE COSTS:
Fieldwork, NOK 1000–1400 (5–7 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay)
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
8/16 students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 April 2017

INSTRUCTORS:

Eva Falck. Photo: UNIS
Eva Falck
Associate Professor, Chemical Oceanography

Course requirements:

60 ECTS in mathematics and physics or a related discipline.

It is also recommended that students have a minimum basic knowledge of oceanography corresponding to Chapter 1-6, 8, 9.11 in Pond and Pickard (1983): “Introduction to Dynamical Oceanography”, Pergamon Press, or to similar texts.

Academic content:

The course gives an overview of the water masses and current systems in the Arctic Basin, the Greenland, Norwegian, and Barents Seas, and a comparison with the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. Convection associated with cooling and freezing of surface water influences the vertical structure of the water masses. The thermobaric effect on the compressibility of seawater has its relevance for determining the deep circulation in the world’s oceans. The small-scale double diffusion also has an impact on convection in regions where the conditions for this process are favourable.

The dynamic theory is associated with the circulation and current systems in the different Polar Regions, in particular the Arctic Basin, the Greenland Sea, and the circulation around Antarctica. Essential processes here are the wind-induced circulation, including rotational effects, upwelling and downwelling associated with wind-induced divergence and convergence, and also tidal currents. Frontal dynamics and the topographic impact on current systems are also covered.

The most relevant combination with this course would be AGF-213 Polar Meteorology and Climate.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Be able to describe the different water masses and the currents found in high latitude regions, and explain physical and dynamical processes in the Polar Oceans (Arctic and Antarctic)
  • Understand and be able to demonstrate how these processes influence the property distribution in Arctic fjords
  • Be able to explain the influence of sea ice on the water masses below and understand some tidal theory and describe tides around Svalbard
  • Recognise the role of the Polar Oceans in shaping the global climate

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will be able to:

  • Handle scientific instruments used in oceanography on scientific cruises
  • Use the computer program MATLAB to process and analyse the scientific data collected during the cruise
  • Produce scientific reports based on data collected during fieldwork

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Be able to present and discuss scientific results from individual field reports and to compare them to previous studies

Learning activities:

The course extends over a full semester. Initially, students attend two days of compulsory Arctic survival and safety training.

The learning activities in this course will give the students:

  • a good understanding of physical oceanography in high latitudes through classroom lectures, seminars, exercises, and literature review
  • an overview of oceanographic instrumentation, how they work, and the quality and nature of the data collected
  • the opportunity to learn how oceanographic data are collected, processed, and analysed through participating in a scientific cruise and by doing the processing and analysing of the data after the cruise
  • knowledge of how to produce a scientific report and how to perform an oral presentation through supervision and feedback on individual assignments.

The final assessment will test the students in their understanding of the theory and how they have implemented it in their reports.

Total lecture hours: 65 hours.
Total seminar hours: 20 hours.
Field exercises: 5–7 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Fieldwork, field report, oral presentation of report.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method
Percentage of final grade
Oral exam  100%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

Application deadline: 15 April 2017

Students with CTD on RV Håkon Mosby

AGF-214 students taking water samples from the CTD onboard RV Håkon Mosby. Photo: Ragnheid Skogseth/UNIS.

 

Analysing data onboard RV Håkon Mosby

AGF-214 students analyse the data collected onboard RV Håkon Mosby. Photo: Ragnheid Skogseth/UNIS.

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CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

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