Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Robert H. Stewart, Texas A&M University
Copyright Year: 2008
Conditions of Use
This textbook is satisfactory for an undergraduate textbook, but not for a 100-level class on oceanography; it is more appropriate for a 300 or 400-level. As the book was published in 2008, there are numerous advances and discoveries in... read more
This textbook is satisfactory for an undergraduate textbook, but not for a 100-level class on oceanography; it is more appropriate for a 300 or 400-level. As the book was published in 2008, there are numerous advances and discoveries in Oceanography that have been made since the publishing date that are obviously not included, but would be worthy additions. Instructors using this book will have to supplement with additional outside material.
The content of this textbook is very accurate, even if the writing is occasionally overly academic and dry. The included photos, graphs, and figures are complete, even if they are only in black and white. I didn't come across any errors or overt bias, as the science presented is all based on accepted peer-reviewed material.
What is great about this textbook is that the author keeps a record of the updates made in subsequent editions. While in this specific edition in its base form there are aspects that are not as current as would be nice for a 2020 classroom. Building on that, I think that it is only a matter of time before additional information in this text becomes outdated, especially pertaining to aspects supported by advances in computer modeling and fluid dynamics.
As mentioned above, this book is more suitable for 300 or 400 level students, as opposed to the 100 level. While the material is scientifically accurate and fairly well presented, it is, I believe, overly technical and could be confusing for someone completely new to oceanography.
The book is laid out well, and consistent with itself - there were no noticeable issues in this area, which made reviewing it much easier for this criterion.
Generally speaking, the book does a good job at being organized and comprehensive on all topics, even if some of the sections are overly segmented. I felt that some of the break-downs were not warranted, although I do understand why the author did it. It just made reading it more challenging for this reviewer. I don't suspect that the author will change this format in subsequent updates, but it is not overall inhibitive, just a little clunky.
The book is organized in a very logical and progressive order, and students in upper level classes shouldn't have too much trouble in seeing how previous chapters and concepts build upon each other.
I didn't notice any glaring errors, however as previously noted, the black and white images are not always the best at conveying information, especially in 2020.
As a "grammar cop," I only found minor style 'errors,' and no significant or recurring issues that would prevent or distract the reader from absorbing the material.
As a "hard science" book, there is virtually no reference to culture at all. The author very clearly aimed to keep the text out of this realm altogether.
A good textbook, overall, especially for open resource status. Not suitable for a community college audience.
This textbook is comprehensive for an undergraduate textbook. It covers a diverse set of topics in physical oceanography and goes into some detail on several topics. Some of the more recent advances in the last decade in observational oceanography... read more
This textbook is comprehensive for an undergraduate textbook. It covers a diverse set of topics in physical oceanography and goes into some detail on several topics. Some of the more recent advances in the last decade in observational oceanography as well as modeling are not updated yet.
The content of this textbook is accurate. The figures and the supplementary material provided in the textbook have accurate information as per modern research and is error-free.
The content of the textbook is written and updated by the author on a regular basis. The author also catalogs the updates made in each version of the textbook. It was last updated a few years ago and hence could be updated further to include more recent research information on some topics such as meridional overturning circulation. Some of the information could become outdated in a few years as research in numerical modeling of the ocean or observational platforms advance with modern techniques. This could be updated by the author easily and presented in a similar language as currently presented in the textbook.
The content in the textbook is presented in an accessible way for undergraduate education. This textbook contains topics and text that might be more suitable for an upper level undergraduate course than an introductory course that caters to non-science majors also. Yet the author provides adequate references and context for the content that students at any level in undergraduate education can access the material easily.
Yes, this textbook was internally consistent. All the content, equations, figures and examples are written and presented at the same level for comprehension.
The textbook overall is well organized and is comprehensive. Yet, there are many subtopics and subheadings that may not always be necessary in the larger context for a lecture on a certain topic. Hence the details of the chapters in the textbook could use some reorganization especially when it is updated to include the modern advances in modeling, observations or other topics.
Yes, the content flows well and the topics are presented in a logical manner.
The figures and images were clearly presented. Did not notice any significant interface issues.
Did not notice any grammatical errors.
The textbook is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It does present topics on oceanography with a global perspective and hence caters to a wide audience.
This text is very comprehensive. It covers a wide variety of aspects of physical oceanography, however it does not include much ocean chemistry. read more
This text is very comprehensive. It covers a wide variety of aspects of physical oceanography, however it does not include much ocean chemistry.
The text appears to be very accurate in its information, both in terms of reading content and mathematical examples.
This text contains current information and examples as of today. Some information could become outdated in the near future, as far as numerical models and equipment for measurements are concerned. However, this could be updated in a relatively easy manner.
This text assumes the reader has taken previous physics, math, and/or oceanography courses. This is well-designed for an upper division undergraduate course, but not for use for an introductory oceanography course.
This text was consistent throughout. All of the chapters have the same "voice" and the descriptions and examples are written at an equal level of knowledge.
On a large scale, this text was well-organized into chapters. Within the chapters, some of the material could be grouped in a more organized manner.
Overall, this text flows well. It pushes the reader forward and does seems organized in a logical pattern.
There were not any issues with navigation of the web pages. Images were clear. The site for the text appears to be down for both the pdf and the web version as I write this. Perhaps this is due to an update or error at the site's network.
I did not notice grammatical errors in this text.
From my perspective, this text is not culturally insensitive. As this is a scientific text, there is not a lot of general cultural information.
This is a great text for an undergraduate upper division course. It would need to be updated on a regular basis to stay current with the field. I would recommend this text to someone teaching a physical oceanography course.
THE BOOK IS COMPREHENSIVE. IT COVERS ALL ASPECTS OF OCEANOGRAPHY. read more
THE BOOK IS COMPREHENSIVE. IT COVERS ALL ASPECTS OF OCEANOGRAPHY.
THE BOOK IS SHOWING HIGH DEGREE OF ACCURACY. THE EXAMPLES ARE EXPLAINED IN A VERY ACCURATE WAY. THE BOOK IS BOTH QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE ORIENTED
THE BOOK IS WRITTEN IN A WAY THAT COULD BE EASILY UPDATED WITH NEW PRACTICAL DATA. ALSO IT IS RELEVANT WITH DEVELOPMENT OF OCEANOGRAPHY
THE BOOK IS PRESENTED IN A VERY CLEAR WAY WHICH MAKES IT EASY TO UNDERSATAND
THE TEXTBOOK IS HIGHLY CONSISTENT WITH RESPECT TO THE APPLICATION OF THE TERM RELATED TO OCEANOGRAPHY,
THE BOOK HAS SO MANY SECTIONS , SOME OF THEM NEED TO MIXED WITH OTHER PARTS TO GIVE BETTER WAY OF PRESENTATION
BOOK IS HIGHLY ORGANIZED . AND LOGICAL WAY. THE CHAPTERS ARE VERY WELL LISTED THE BOOK IS WRITTEN IN A VERY CLEAR WAY SHOWING GOOD STRUCTURE
THE TEXT IS FREE OF SIGNGICANT ITREFFACE ISSUES
NO GRAMMAR ERRORS. THE BOOK IS WRITTEN IN A VERY GOOD LANGUAGE THAT CONTAINS NO GRAMMATICAL ERRORS.
THE BOOK IS TALKING ABOUT MANY TOPICS RELATED TO THE PEOPLES LIFE . SO IT HAS HIGH DEGREE OF CULTURAL RELAVANCE
Table of Contents
1 A Voyage of Discovery
2 The Historical Setting
3 The Physical Setting
4 Atmospheric Influences
5 The Oceanic Heat Budget
6 Temperature, Salinity, and Density
7 The Equations of Motion
8 Equations of Motion With Viscosity
9 Response of the Upper Ocean to Winds
10 Geostrophic Currents
11 Wind Driven Ocean Circulation
12 Vorticity in the Ocean
13 Deep Circulation in the Ocean
14 Equatorial Processes
15 Numerical Models
16 Ocean Waves
17 Coastal Processes and Tides
About the Book
This textbook covers physical-oceanographic processes, theories, data, and measurements, targeted at upper-division undergraduates and graduate students in oceanography, meteorology, and ocean engineering. In addition to the classical topics, the author includes discussions of heat fluxes, the role of the ocean in climate, the deep circulation, equatorial processes including El Nino, data bases used by oceanographers, the role of satellites and data from space, ship-based measurements, and the importance of vorticity in understanding oceanic flows. Students should have studied differential equations and introductory college physics, although math is de-emphasized.
About the Contributors
Robert Stewart is an Emeritus Professor of Oceanography at Texas A&M University. He earned his PhD in Physical Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.