Oceanography: a key to better understand our world

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About this course: The course for a round the world regatta leads the boats through the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic, Southern Indian and South Pacific Oceans. On their voyage, the skippers come across a large variety of oceanographic situations: strong currents, floating ice, wave formations of every kind and biological diversity. In this course the student will learn about the foundations of the science of oceanography. You'll learn about the classification and formation of the ocean floor, how current sea satellite analysis systems work, the chemistry of the oceans and the processes that led to its formation. To follow this course does not require previous knowledge of oceanogr…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: The course for a round the world regatta leads the boats through the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic, Southern Indian and South Pacific Oceans. On their voyage, the skippers come across a large variety of oceanographic situations: strong currents, floating ice, wave formations of every kind and biological diversity. In this course the student will learn about the foundations of the science of oceanography. You'll learn about the classification and formation of the ocean floor, how current sea satellite analysis systems work, the chemistry of the oceans and the processes that led to its formation. To follow this course does not require previous knowledge of oceanography.

Created by:  Universitat de Barcelona, Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona
  • Taught by:  Jordi Serra, Dr.

    Grupo de Geociencias Marinas
Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 5.0 stars Average User Rating 5.0See what learners said Coursework

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Universitat de Barcelona The University of Barcelona is the most formidable public institution of higher education in Catalonia, catering to the needs of the greatest number of students and delivering the broadest and most comprehensive offering in higher educational courses. The UB is also the principal centre of university research in Spain and has become a European benchmark for research activity, both in terms of the number of research programmes it conducts and the excellence these have achieved. Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona The Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing (FNOB), was created with three strategic objectives in mind: sports, industry & technology and communication, and devised to undertake a series of projects geared towards promoting and boosting activities related to top-level ocean sailing. To fulfil these objectives, the FNOB defined four key strategic areas: R&D, Education and Knowledge, Science & Technology and the Environment.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


1A - The Mediterranean: a model of an ocean - Temperature, salinity and pressure.



Module 1 addresses some of the fundamental concepts of descriptive oceanography related to the physical characteristics of water: the vertical distribution of temperature and salinity, TS diagram, stability and destabilization of the water column, the formation of water dense and deep, the water masses and circulation. It is necessary also introduces concepts to understand the relationship between the distribution of the mass of water, its surface topography of a regional or larger scale, and called geostrophic circulation, where it plays a fundamental role the Coriolis force. While the concepts presented have general applicability, examples are the Mediterranean, starting with the characteristics of the waters near Barcelona, where it begins and ends the Barcelona World Race, and ending with the general circulation of the water masses around the Mediterranean.


5 videos, 13 readings expand


  1. Video: Video Course Presentation
  2. Reading: Introduction
  3. Reading: Course structure
  4. Video: 1.0 Video Introduction
  5. Reading: 1. Introduction to the module 1 (A and B)
  6. Reading: 1.1 The Mediterranean: a model of an ocean - Temperature, salinity and pressure
  7. Video: 1.1 Video Temperature, salinity, density
  8. Reading: 1.1.1 Temperature
  9. Reading: 1.1.2 Salinity
  10. Reading: 1.1.3 Pressure
  11. Reading: 1.1.4 Density and the T/S diagram
  12. Reading: 1.2 The annual hydrographic cycle opposite Barcelona
  13. Video: 1.2.1 Video Introduction: Vertical profiles for T and S on the Catalan coast, NW Mediterranean.
  14. Reading: 1.2.1 Vertical profiles for T and S on the Catalan coast, NW Mediterranean.
  15. Video: 1.2.2 Video Vertical stability
  16. Reading: 1.2.2 Vertical stability
  17. Reading: 1.2.3 Stability gains and losses
  18. Reading: 1.2.4 The construction and destruction of the thermocline

Graded: Quiz 1A

WEEK 2


1B - The Mediterranean: a model of an ocean - Water masses and circulation



In this module you will learn how dense waters and water bodies are formed. Where the Mediterranean will be used as a model of ocean. As well as some of the fundamental concepts of marine dynamics, which is how the Coriolis and pressure gradient force is formed. Besides the importance of dynamic topography and geostrophic flow. Hope will be to your liking.


4 videos, 8 readings expand


  1. Video: 1.3 Video: The formation of dense water and water masses
  2. Reading: 1.3 The formation of dense water and water masses
  3. Video: 1.4 Video: The Mediterranean a model of an ocean
  4. Reading: 1.4 The Mediterranean a model of an ocean
  5. Reading: 1.4.1 The Mediterranean, a negative estuary
  6. Reading: 1.4.2 The circulation of the Mediterranean's main masses of water
  7. Reading: 1.5 Fundamental concepts of marine dynamics
  8. Video: 1.5.1 Video The pressure gradient force
  9. Reading: 1.5.1 The “pressure gradient force”
  10. Video: 1.5.2 Video: The Coriolis Force
  11. Reading: 1.5.2 The Coriolis Force
  12. Reading: 1.5.3 Dynamic topography and geostrophic circulation

Graded: Quiz 1B

WEEK 3


2. The Global Ocean



This module will enter fully into the Global Ocean, will review and generalize the aspects previously referred to in the previous module. We will see the role of the ocean on a global scale, and how we can affect those who live closer or farther from the coast. Try to understand why it is still quite unknown and will glance nose in the marine environment. That is, how it behaves for those living beings, most who live within the ocean or in direct contact with him.


12 videos, 18 readings expand


  1. Reading: 2. Introduction Planet Earth is also 'planet water'
  2. Reading: 2.1.The Global Ocean
  3. Video: 2.1.1 Video: From the Mediterranean to the ocean. Changing scales past Gibraltar
  4. Reading: 2.1.1 From the Mediterranean to the ocean. Changing scales past Gibraltar
  5. Video: 2.1.2 Video: The water cycle on the planet
  6. Reading: 2.1.2 Water cycle on the planet
  7. Video: 2.1.3 Video: The confinement of the ocean and the freedom of the atmosphere. Exchanges of energy and evaporation. Heating and cooling. Consequences of ocean dynamics.
  8. Reading: 2.1.3 The confinement of the ocean and the freedom of the atmosphere. Exchanges of energy and evaporation. Heating and cooling. Consequences of ocean dynamics.
  9. Video: 2.1.4 Video: Vertical structure by density. Intrusions and intermediate waters
  10. Reading: 2.1.4 Vertical structure by density. Intrusions and intermediate waters
  11. Reading: Introduction Ocean Circulation
  12. Video: 2.2.1 Video Circulation, water masses and the internal structure of the oceans. Geostrophy or how ocean structure reflects circulation and how the circulation affects structure
  13. Reading: 2.2.1 Circulation, water masses and te internal structure of the oceans. Geostrophy or how ocean structure reflects circulation and how the circulation affects structure
  14. Reading: 2.2.2 Thermohaline circulation. Water transport and the conveyor belt
  15. Video: 2.2.3 Video Wind-induced circulation. Ekman and upwelling.
  16. Reading: 2.2.3 Wind-induced circulation. Ekman and upwelling.
  17. Reading: 2.3 Introduction Other scales of motion
  18. Video: 2.3.1 Video Instabilities. Inertial motion. Mesoscale.
  19. Reading: 2.3.1 Instabilities. Inertial motion. Mesoscale.
  20. Video: 2.3.2 Video Deep and intermediate water formation
  21. Reading: 2.3.2 Deep and intermediate water formation
  22. Video: 2.3.3 Video Climate impact. Heat distribution on the planet. Hidden heat.
  23. Reading: 2.3.3 Climate impact. Heat distribution on the planet. Hidden heat.
  24. Video: 2.3.4 Video Non-linearity and instabilities: Niños and Niñas
  25. Reading: 2.3.4 Non-linearity and instabilities: Niños and Niñas
  26. Reading: 2.4 Introduction The ocean as an environment. A sea full of life
  27. Video: 2.4.1 Video A three-dimensional environment, with little or no visibility and no fixed references
  28. Reading: 2.4.1 A three-dimensional environment, with little or no visibility and no fixed references
  29. Video: 2.4.2 Video A sea full of life: the pelagic and benthic environments. Near to and far from the coast. In light and darkness.
  30. Reading: 2.4.2 A sea full of life: the pelagic and benthic environments. Near to and far from the coast. In light and darkness.

Graded: Quiz 2

WEEK 4


3A. Satellite oceanography: all eyes on the planet (I)
In this module you will learn the importance of ocean observation by satellite, talk about remote sensing, electromagnetic radiation emitted and reflected, and the importance of their study for navigation.


4 videos, 9 readings expand


  1. Video: Video: 3A. Introduction
  2. Reading: 3.1 What is remote sensing? Why do we want to observe the ocean from space?
  3. Video: 3.1.1 Video Can we do something similar for the ocean?
  4. Reading: 3.1.1 Can we do something similar for the ocean?
  5. Video: 3.1.2 Video Why do we want to use remote sensing for oceanography?
  6. Reading: 3.1.2 Why do we want to use remote sensing for oceanography?
  7. Reading: 3.1.3 Advantages and disadvantages of ocean remote sensing
  8. Reading: 3.2 Electromagnetic radiation emitted and reflected by the ocean
  9. Reading: 3.2.1 Oceans and electromagnetic radiation
  10. Video: 3.2.2 Video Sensing the ocean surface from a satellite
  11. Reading: 3.2.2 Sensing the ocean surface from a satellite
  12. Reading: 3.2.3 Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
  13. Reading: 3.2.4 Ocean colour

Graded: Quiz 3A

WEEK 5


3B. Satellite oceanography: All eyes on the planet (II)
This new module will expand the study of oceanography satellite, and microwave as for obtaining information are used. What are they and what is the importance of active sensors. And finally, other applications of satellites and their importance.


8 videos, 15 readings expand


  1. Reading: 3.3 A very interesting atmospheric window: the microwave domain
  2. Reading: 3.3.1 Microwave radiometers
  3. Video: 3.3.1 Video Microwave radiometers
  4. Reading: 3.3.2 Sea surface salinity determined by microwaves
  5. Video: 3.3.2 Video Sea surface salinity determined by microwaves
  6. Reading: 3.3.3 Sea ice observation and icebergs tracking
  7. Reading: 3.3.4 Surface wind speed and direction
  8. Reading: 3.4 Active sensors: satellites that illuminate the oceans
  9. Reading: 3.4.1 Lidar: using a laser to observe the ocean
  10. Reading: 3.4.2 Radars: active sensors to illuminate the ocean through clouds
  11. Reading: 3.4.3 Side-looking radars to image the ocean surface and quantify its roughness
  12. Video: 3.4.3 Video How is this used in satellite oceanography?
  13. Video: 3.4.3.1 Video scatterometer wind vector retrieval
  14. Reading: 3.4.4 Radar altimeter: the revolution in operational oceanography
  15. Video: 3.4.4 Video Radar altimeter: the revolution in operational oceanography
  16. Reading: 3.5 Other satellite applications in oceanography and final summary
  17. Reading: 3.5.1 Beyond satellite measurements: navigation and communications
  18. Video: 3.5.1 Video Beyond satellite measurements: navigation and communications
  19. Reading: 3.5.2 The Argo array of profiling floats
  20. Video: 3.5.2 Video The Argo array of profiling floats
  21. Reading: 3.5.3 Operational oceanography
  22. Video: 3.5.3 Video Operational oceanography
  23. Reading: 3.5.4 Final summary

Graded: Quiz 3B

WEEK 6


4. Ocean chemistry: a chemical industry with wall-less pipes



In this section you will learn ocean chemistry what is it? how does it work? What is the vertical axis of the biosphere and the vertical segregació of the elements and how it works? What is carbon carbonate system and what is its relationship with the ocean conveyor belt?. The answers to all these questions will help us understand how the oceans work, the importance for navigation and its relationship to the planet's climate.


5 videos, 19 readings expand


  1. Video: 4. Video Introduction: Ocean chemistry
  2. Reading: 4.1 Water, solutes and particles
  3. Video: 4.1 Video: Water, solutes and particles
  4. Reading: 4.1.1 General Introduction: A complex chemical plant with no pipes
  5. Reading: 4.1.2 Water
  6. Reading: 4.1.3 The chemical composition of sea water
  7. Reading: 4.1.4 Solute or particle: chemistry and gravity
  8. Reading: 4.2 The biosphere's vertical axis and the vertical segregrations of the elements
  9. Video: 4.2 Video The biosphere's vertical axis and the vertical segregrations of the elements
  10. Reading: 4.2.1 Production: light, nutrients and organisms
  11. Reading: 4.2.2 Vertical segregation and the role of auxiliary energy in production
  12. Reading: 4.2.3 New production and recycled production
  13. Reading: 4.3 The carbon carbonate system
  14. Video: 4.3 Video The carbon carbonate system
  15. Reading: 4.3.1. Forms of inorganic carbon
  16. Reading: 4.3.2 Processes which modify dissolved inorganic carbon
  17. Reading: 4.3.3 Changes in alkalinity and pH
  18. Reading: 4.3.4 CO2 exchanges with the atmosphere
  19. Reading: 4.4 The chemistry of the global ocean conveyor belt
  20. Video: 4.4 Video The chemistry of the global ocean conveyor belt
  21. Reading: 4.4.1 The vertical and horizontal segregation of the nutrient elements
  22. Reading: 4.4.2 Apparent oxygen utilisation and the apparent production of nutrients
  23. Reading: 4.4.3 Respiration, acidification and dissolution of carbonate
  24. Reading: 4.4.4 The global ocean distribution of chemical elements of interest for life

Graded: Quiz 4

WEEK 7


5. Ocean basins: a memory sustained for millions of years



The result of the evolution of the crust of the Earth: a set of land masses and ocean basins in continuous motion over crust. With a little history we will achieve understand the result of the evolution of the crust of the earth and the diversity of ocean domains: the continental margins to large tanks. Large ocean basins


11 videos, 15 readings expand


  1. Video: 5 Video: Introduction: The result of the evolution of the Earth's crust. Ocean basins
  2. Reading: 5. Introduction:The result of the evolution of the Earth's crust.Ocean basins
  3. Video: 5.1.1. Video: A bit of history
  4. Reading: 5.1.1. Some history
  5. Video: 5.1.2. Video The result of the evolution of the Earth's crust
  6. Reading: 5.1.2. The result of the evolution of the Earth's crust
  7. Reading: 5.1.3 The diversity of the ocean domains: from continental margins to great trenches. The great ocean basins
  8. Reading: 5.2 Paleoceanography
  9. Video: 5.2.1 Video Paleoceanography Introduction
  10. Video: 5.2.2 Video The marine record of glacial and interglacial cycles of the Quaternary
  11. Video: 5.2.3 Video The role of the oceans in the rapid advance of climatic variability
  12. Video: 5.2.4 Video The Carbon cycle as feedback for climate change
  13. Video: 5.2.5 Video Summary
  14. Reading: 5.3 Marine sediment distribution
  15. Video: 5.3.1 Video The marine sediment system as a response to the conditions and evolution of the medium
  16. Reading: 5.3.1 The marine sediment system as a response to the conditions and evolution of the medium
  17. Reading: 5.3.2 The conditioning factors for the distribution of terrigenous sediment and rates of sedimentation
  18. Reading: 5.3.3 The marine sediment system as a response to conditions and the evolution of the environment
  19. Video: 5.4 Video Typologies of marine biogenous and hydrogenous sediment
  20. Reading: 5.4 Typologies of marine biogenous and hydrogenous sediment
  21. Video: 5.4.1 Video Biogenous sediment
  22. Reading: 5.4.1 biogenous sediment
  23. Reading: 5.4.2 Evaporite sediment and chemical precipitation (hydrogenous)
  24. Reading: 5.4.3 Marine productivity and the preservation of organic matter in sediment
  25. Reading: 5.4.4 Other deposits of interest
  26. Reading: 5.5 Important points along the BWR course and their oceanic and structural significance

Graded: Quiz 5

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