SIO 219, 1 unit S/U
Professor William R. Young
wryoung at
Phone: 858 534 1380
Office: Keck room 353 - this is at the extreme north-east corner of SIO. As far and high as possible from the Director's Office, while still remaining on the SIO campus

Meetings Friday 3:30pm, Keck Conference Room

Description The theme of the theory seminar this quarter is form stress and geostrophic turbulence. There'll be a mixture of research seminars and student-led presentations of key papers. Students are encouraged to register for the class, and participation by interested post-docs and faculty is very welcome.

Course Requirements Students should register as S/U. Registered students will be expected to present at least one paper during the quarter. At the start of each class, registered students are asked to submit a one-page summary of, or comment on, the assigned paper. Your one-pager should include at least one question or comment designed to provoke group discuss of the paper.

The reading list below is under development. Participants are encouraged to suggest papers that they like to read and discuss.


Friday 1st April. Bill Young discussed Munk & Palmen P1. The first seminar is here.

Friday 8th April. Cesar Rocha will discuss P3 Bretherton & Haidvogel. The second seminar is here.

Friday 15th April. Jessica Masich will discuss P2 Johnson & Bryden. The third seminar is here.

Friday 22nd April. Stephen Holleman will discuss P5 Carnevale & Frederiksen. The fourth seminar is here.

Friday 29th April. No seminar this week.

Friday 6th May. Spencer Jones will discuss S1 Warren, LaCasce & Robbins, and the replies S2 and S3 by Hughes and Olbers. The fifth seminar is here.

Friday 13th May. Veronica Tamsitt will discuss P4 Masich, Chereskin, and Mazloff. The sixth seminar is here.

Friday 20th May. Paul Chamberlain will discuss P7 Hughes & de Cuevas. The seventh seminar is here.

Friday 27th May. Navid Constantinou will discuss P6 Abernathey & Cessi. The eighth seminar is here.

Friday 3rd June. No seminar this week - enjoy the Summer.



P1. Munk, Walter Heinrich, and E. Palmen. "Note on the Dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current." Tellus 3.1 (1951): 53-55.

P2. Johnson, Gregory C., and Harry L. Bryden. "On the size of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current." Deep-Sea Research Part A. Oceanographic Research Papers 36.1 (1989): 39-53.

P3. Bretherton, Francis P., and Dale B. Haidvogel. "Two-dimensional turbulence above topography." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 78.01 (1976): 129-154..

P4. Masich, J., Chereskin, T.K and Mazloff, M.R (2015), Topographic form stress in the Southern Ocean State Estimate. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120, 7919-7933, doi:10.1002/2015JC011143.

P5. Carnevale, George F., and Jorgen S. Frederiksen. "Nonlinear stability and statistical mechanics of flow over topography." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 175 (1987): 157-181.

P6. Abernathey, Ryan and Cessi, Paola. "Topographic Enhancement of eddy efficiency in baroclinic instability." Journal of Physical Oceanography 44 (2014): 2107-2126.

P7. Hughes, Chris W., and Beverly A. De Cuevas. "Why western boundary currents in realistic oceans are inviscid: A link between form stress and bottom pressure torques." Journal of Physical Oceanography 31.10 (2001): 2871-2885.


Paper S1 was calculated to provoke a response, and it follows in papers S2 and S3.

S1. Warren, Bruce A., Joseph H. LaCasce, and Paul E. Robbins. "On the obscurantist physics of ''form drag'' in theorizing about the Circumpolar Current." Journal of Physical Oceanography 26.10 (1996): 2297-2301.

S2.Hughes, C. W. "Comments on "On the Obscurantist Physics of 'Form Drag' in Theorizing about the Circumpolar Current"." Journal of Physical Oceanography 27.1 (1997): 209-210.

S3. Olbers, Dirk. "Comments on ''On the Obscurantist Physics of'Form Drag' in Theorizing about the Circumpolar Current." Journal of Physical Oceanography 28.8 (1998): 1647-1654.

Papers S5 and S6 are on a favourite barotropic model of eddy-topography interaction. Hart formulated the model in S4, while papers S5 and P5 discuss the implications of Hart's model from the perspective of equilibrium statistical mechanics and turbulence closure.

S4. Hart, John E. "Barotropic quasi-geostrophic flow over anisotropic mountains." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 36.9 (1979): 1736-1746.

S5. Holloway, Greg. "Systematic forcing of large-scale geophysical flows by eddy-topography interaction." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 184 (1987): 463-476.

S6. Treguier, A. M. "Topographically generated steady currents in barotropic turbulence." Geophysical & Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 47.1-4 (1989): 43-68.

Starting with S7 there has been a small industry devoted to multi-layer quasigeostrophic models of the ACC. These stripped-down models show clearly how baroclinic instability is responsible for transmitting stress vertically downwards from the uppermost wind-forced layer, so that it is ultimately removed by topographic form stress.

S7. McWilliams, James C., William R. Holland, and Julianna HS Chow. "A description of numerical Antarctic Circumpolar Currents." Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans 2.3 (1978): 213-291.

S8. Treguier, Anne-Marie, and J. C. McWilliams. "Topographic influences on wind-driven, stratified flow in a β-plane channel: An idealized model for the Antarctic Circumpolar Current." Journal of Physical Oceanography 20.3 (1990): 321-343.

S9. Wolff, Jorg-Olaf, Ernst Maier-Reimer, and Dirk Jurgen Olbers. "Wind-driven flow over topography in a zonal beta-plane channel: A quasi-geostrophic model of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current." Journal of Physical Oceanography 21.2 (1991): 236-264.

Paper S10 is a modern follow-on to S7-S9 using the Hallberg Isopycnic model. S10 describes a numerical solution in which an idealized meridional ridge completely obstructs the bottom layer of a five layer model.

S10. Ward, Marshall L., and Andrew McC Hogg. "Establishment of momentum balance by form stress in a wind-driven channel." Ocean Modelling 40.2 (2011): 133-146.

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