Ondes internes océaniques


This course focuses on ocean internal waves. Students will acquire a general knowledge of the dynamics of internal waves in the ocean, the waves properties, their generation mechanisms, the consequences of their possible non-linearity or instability and their role in the ocean and climate system. The course is taught in English.

Pré-requis nécessaires


Geophysical fluid dynamics (Fluids 1 and Fluids 2)


On completing this course, students will be able to express the equations governing the evolution of internal waves and solve them mathematically in idealized systems, they will know the important properties of internal waves, and be able to reason physically about their evolution in the ocean.

Compétences visées

ability to analyse and solve a marine physica probleme, using knowledge about internal waves, in a professional or academic frame.

Ability to observe and simplify theory in regard of observations or conversely to establish a measurement plan in view of theory; in particular scale and give orders of magnitude of phenomena for observation, or provide simplified equations

Ability of select and critically analyse bibliographic information to extract a new scientific question; develop critical arguments; use the knowledge of atmosphere-ocean theory to solve an original problem

Be able to solve problems on the field or in a company, taking into account the whole complexity of reality

Communicate orally or by texts, in a scientific manner




General properties of Ocean waves

Internal Waves in nature and their role in the ocean

Internal Waves in the 2-layer model

Internal Waves with a continuous stratification

Generation mechanisms for internal waves [Tides, Winds, Topography, etc.]

Propagation, dissipation and interaction of internal waves

Activity: Numerical simulation of internal waves using fluid2d



Holrhuijsen: Waves in oceanic and coastal waters, Cambridge University Press

Gill, atmosphere oecan dynamics, academic press

Leblond and Mysak, Waves in the ocean, Elsevier

Csanady, circulation in the coastal ocean, Reidel

Le Mehaute, an introduction to hydrosydnamics and water waves, Springer