Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 02

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Volume 20, No. 2
Pages 208 - 210


BOOK REVIEW • The Equations of Oceanic Motions

By Roland de Szoeke  
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The Equations of Oceanic Motions has two primarily pedagogical aims: to establish rigorously the equations of oceanic motions, including the equilibrium thermodynamics of seawater and the molecular transport processes, and to examine systematically the common approximations that are made. In these aims, it succeeds admirably (and very usefully). The book will surely become a standard reference for the ocean dynamicist who wants to get the equations and usual approximations right. For me, the book is already worth the price just for its thorough treatment of the Boussinesq approximation. We all learn the mantra “density in the momentum equation can be replaced everywhere by a constant reference value ρ0, except when multiplied by g0 [gravity].” But then, how exactly does one square the conservation of volume (not mass) with the transport equations for heat and salt and the equation of state? Here it’s done right, without cutting corners or (to mix metaphors) sweeping dust under the rug. Who are the book’s intended audiences? The earnest dynamicist has already been mentioned. The novice would find it hard going, while the initiate would appreciate the attention to detail and the uniform notation and framework.


de Szoeke, R. 2007. Review of The Equations of Oceanic Motions, by P. Müller. Oceanography 20(2):208–210, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.73.

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