2019-2020 / OCEA0011-2

Coastal oceanography


20h Th, 10h Pr, 3d FW

Number of credits

 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Aida Alvera Azcarate

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The coastal ocean has a series of particularities because of its shallow depth, the presence of the coastline, the anthropogenic influence, the riverine impact... The coastal ocean is much more productive than the open ocean, and phenomena like tides get amplified in the vicinity of the shelf. The basic principles of coastal oceanography will be seen during the lessons.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The Coastal Oceanography course is divided in two parts. A first part (1/3 of the total) gives an overview of the basic principles of coastal oceanography:
1. Introduction to coastal oceanography
2. Basic definitions and concepts:
3. Main differences between the open ocean and the coastal ocean (Friction, Tides, Presence of coast: upwelling and downwelling, Sea level variations, Stratification, Fronts, Terrestrial influences)
4. Waves  and oscillatory movements in the coastal ocean
5. Estuaries
A second part (2/3 of the total) is dedicated to the analysis of data, with a focus on coastal data:
1. Instrumentation (sensors, ocean observing systems, remote sensing)
2. Data analysis exercises (ocean currents derivation, air-sea fluxes, derivation of temperature and salinity from a CTD, analysis of results)

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Theoretical explanations and practical exercises. In situ and satellite data will be used for the exercises.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)


Recommended or required readings

The materials seen during the lessons are available at the course webpage indicated below.
Other readings:
Introduction to the Physical and Biological Oceanography of Shelf Seas. 2012. J.H. Simpson and J. Sharpless. Cambridge. 448pp
Data Analysis Methods in Physical Oceanography. 2001. W.J. Emery and R.E. Thomson. Elsevier Science Inc. 400 pp.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam or practical exercise to be presented orally.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks


Université de Liège
Allée du 6 Août, 17, Bât. B5a
B-4000 Liège

Tél : +32 4 3663664
Fax : +32 4 3669729
E-mail : A.Alvera@ulg.ac.be

Items online

Coastal oceanography
Lecture notes