Evolution of Physical Oceanography

A photograph of an ocean wave cresting.

A breaking ocean wave reveals fluid dynamics at work. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia.)


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Evolution of Physical Oceanography was created to mark the career of Henry M. Stommel, the leading physical oceanographer of the 20th Century and a longtime MIT faculty member. The authors of the different chapters were asked to describe the evolution of their subject over the history of physical oceanography, and to provide a survey of the state-of-the-art of their subject as of 1980. Many of the chapters in this textbook are still up-to-date descriptions of active scientific fields, and all of them are important historical records. This textbook is made available courtesy of The MIT Press.

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Bruce Warren, and Carl Wunsch. RES.12-000 Evolution of Physical Oceanography. Spring 2007. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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