Oceanic Submesoscale and Autonomous Observation Systems
Instance: 2021/2022 - 2S
Cycles of Study/Courses
||No. of Students
||The study plan from 2018
Teaching Staff - Responsibilities
Teaching - Hours
|Theoretical and practical :
Suitable for English-speaking students
Students should comprehend in what sense new autonomous vehicles and instrumentation, through their environmental measurements, can contribute to understanding the oceanic submesoscale and its dynamics. The students should develop skills to select various sampling strategies, including simultaneously autonomous vehicles and satellite measurements, for an effective observation of submesoscale processes. The students should be able to describe in mathematical language some basic dynamics of the submesoscale, grasping some basic understanding of the physics of the involved phenomena. The foundations of control associated to autonomous vehicles should be understood in a collaborative and optimized form.
Learning outcomes and competences
Understanding physical dynamics in the ocean that occur between scales of a meter and a few tens of kilometers requires, as the first step, collecting data, which are required to have the spatial coverage as broad as possible and repeat observation period as short as possible. New technologies and autonomous vehicles (underwater, surface and airborne), configurations and state of the art sensors, are ideal for Lagrangian-based field experiments and consequently contribute to understanding ocean dynamics at these scales. This curricular unit intends to address the physical dynamics of sub-mesoscale processes and demonstrate how new measuring technologies can contribute to a better understanding of these phenomena. It also provides a basis to comprehend SAR Ocean observations, hence being essential to this other curricular unit (Ocean SAR).
Description of oceanic phenomena observed by satellite remote sensing, space-time scales of those phenomena and some techniques and sensors for observing them; Fundamental properties of ocean water; Geofluid dynamics (equations of inviscid motion with Earth rotation); Surface waves (deep and shallow water approximations; dispersion relations); Internal gravity waves (Boussinesq approximation; two-layer model; propagation in continuous stratification; wave modes and ray propagation); Nonlinear waves (Kortweg-deVries equation; internal solitons); Sub-mesoscale vortices; Estuarine coastal dynamics (river plumes and environmental conditions: wind speed and direction, tides, flow); near-inertial oscillations; Bathymetry effects on surface gravity-capillary waves (weak hydrodynamic modulation theory); Friction effects (some notions of ocean turbulence associated to waves and fronts); Autonomous vehicles and measurement techniques; Instrumentation onboard autonomous vehicles and hydrographic measurements (measurements of other variables); Synchronous measurements with swarms of autonomous vehicles and strategies for measuring different phenomena.
Kundu Pijush K.; Fluid mechanics
. ISBN: 0-12-178253-0
Carter N.; Autonomous Underwater Vehicles: Technology and Applications, Carter N. , 2015. ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1632400741
LeBlond, P.H., Mysak, L.A. ; Waves in the Ocean, Elsevier, 1981. ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0133533019
Zheng, Q.; Satellite SAR detection of sub-mesoscale Ocean Dynamic Processes, Advanced Series on Ocean Engineering , Volume 44; 300pp, 2017
Teaching methods and learning activities
The teaching method is based on theoretical exposition and analysis of the equations of motion that govern some of the sub-mesoscale, followed by detailed discussions of the implications in the ocean dynamics. The analysis is made with aid of numerical model results (e.g. animations of MITgcm output) and in situ measurements obtained with the autonomous vehicles. Whenever possible and desirable, some numerical simulations will be proposed to illustrate the processes addressed in class. Satellite observations are the preferential form to illustrate some characteristics of the sub-mesoscale phenomena, and a way to gain insight into those processes. A visit to the Underwater Systems and Technology Laboratory (LSTS) of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) ) (http://lsts.fe.up.pt/
) will allow acquaintance with those autonomous vehicles, and whenever possible planning of operational missions with these vehicles will take place in class, as well as analysis of data collected by the vehicles. In the lectures of type “O” possible doubts about the various topics of the syllabus will be clarified and support to the execution of the proposed practical exercises will be given
Physical sciences > Physics > Classical mechanics > Fluid dynamics
Natural sciences > Environmental science > Earth science > Marine sciences
Distributed evaluation with final exam
|Trabalho prático ou de projeto
Amount of time allocated to each course unit
|Frequência das aulas
Eligibility for exams
Evaluation shall include a written manuscript (50%) and a proposal for a project with the aim to sample a given submesoscale ocean phenomenon through the use of autonomous vehicles and satellite remote sensing. Minimum average mark for successful conclusion of the U.C. is 9.5/20.
Calculation formula of final grade
Examinations or Special Assignments
Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)
Improvement of marks may be achieved by the realization of an additional Exam and/or an additional Assignment.