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Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics
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  • 216 b/w illus. 146 exercises
  • Page extent: 769 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 1.806 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521849692 | ISBN-10: 0521849691)

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$110.00 (P)

Fluid dynamics is fundamental to our understanding of the atmosphere and oceans. Although many of the same principles of fluid dynamics apply to both the atmosphere and oceans, textbooks tend to concentrate on the atmosphere, the ocean, or the theory of geophysical fluid dynamics (GFD). This textbook provides a comprehensive unified treatment of atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics. The book introduces the fundamentals of geophysical fluid dynamics, including rotation and stratification, vorticity and potential vorticity, and scaling and approximations. It discusses baroclinic and barotropic instabilities, wave-mean flow interactions and turbulence, and the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean. Student problems and exercises are included at the end of each chapter. Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics: Fundamentals and Large-Scale Circulation will be an invaluable graduate textbook on advanced courses in GFD, meteorology, atmospheric science and oceanography, and an excellent review volume for researchers. Additional resources are available at


Part I. Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: 1. Equations of motion; 2. Effects of rotation and stratification; 3. Shallow water systems and isentropic coordinates; 4. Vorticity and potential vorticity; 5. Simplified equations for ocean and atmosphere; Part II. Instabilities, Waves and Turbulence: 6. Barotropic and baroclinic instability; 7. Wave-mean flow interaction; 8. Turbulence: basic theory; 9. Geostrophic turbulence and baroclinic eddies; 10. Turbulent diffusion and eddy transport; Part III. Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulation: 11. The overturning circulation: Hadley and Ferrel cells; 12. Mid-latitude atmospheric circulation; 13. Zonal asymmetries, planetary waves and stratosphere; Part IV. Large-Scale Circulation: 14. Wind-driven gyres; 15. The buoyancy driven circulation; 16. Wind and buoyancy driven circulation; Appendix: miscellaneous relationships in a layered model; Index.


"Geoff Vallis' Atmosphere and [Oceanic Fluid Dynamics] will become the standard text on modern large-scale atmosphere and ocean dynamics. It covers the field from the equations of motion to modern developments such as wave-mean flow interaction theory and theories for the global-scale circulations of atmospheres and oceans. There is no book of comparable comprehensiveness, spanning the needs of beginning graduate students and researchers alike."
-Tapio Schneider, California Institute of Technology

"This clearly written, self-contained new book is a modern treatment of atmospheric and oceanic dynamics. The book starts from classical concepts in fluid dynamics and thermodynamics and takes the reader to the frontier of current research. This is an accessible textbook for beginning students in metereology, oceanography and climate sciences. Mature researchers will welcome this work as a stimulating resource. This is also the only textbook on geophysical fluid dynamics with a comprehensive collection of problems; these cement the material and expand it to a more advanced level. Highly recommended!"
-Paola Cessi, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

"Vallis provides a coheisve view of GFD that smoothly blends classic results with modern interpretations. The book strikes an ideal balance between mathematical rigor and physical intuition, and between atmosphere- and ocean-relevant applications. The use of a hierarchy of models is particularly welcome. Each physical phenomenon is modeled with the right degree of complexity, and the reader is introduced to the value of the hierarchy at an early stage. Well-designed homework problems spanning a broad range of difficulty make the book very appropriate for use in introductory courses in GFD."
-Adam Sobel, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

"I have adopted this text for my course in Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics because the ideas are clearly presented and up-to-date. The text provides the flexibility for the instructor to choose among a variety of paths that take the student from the foundations of the subject to current research topics. For me as a researcher, the text is satisfying because it presents a unified view of the ideas that underlie the modern theory of large scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations."
-Paul J. Kushner, University of Toronto

"The large-scale circulation in the atmosphere-ocean system is maintained by small scale turbulent motions that interact with large scale radiative processes. The first half of the book introduces the basic theories off large-scale atmosphere-ocean flows and of small-scale turbulent motions. In the second half, the two theories are brought together to explain how the interactions of motions on different scales maintain the global-scale climate. The emphasis on turbulent motions and their effect on larger scales makes this book a gem in the GFD literature. Finally we have a textbook that is up to date with our current understanding of the climate system."
-Raffaele Ferrari, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"As a whole this is an highly recommended textbook: those who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and at the same time want to be provided with the necessary hydrodynamic foundations, will be served very well indeed by this book."
Professor Volkmar Wirth, Physik Journal

"...I would be happy to see this wonderful textbook on as many desks of our community as possible."
- Meteorol

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