Estuary & Shelf Sea Processes
Run by School of Ocean Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Thomas Rippeth
Overall aims and purpose
For most people, their nearest stretch of salt water is either in an estuary or a shelf sea. These relatively shallow water bodies provide us with transport links, recreation, food and mineral resources. Accordingly, they are also areas of significant human influence. They play host to a unique set of processes which determine the nature of the water column structure and hence exchange of water and matter between the terrestrial environment and the ocean. This module introduces the physical, chemical and sedimentary processes occurring in shelf seas and estuaries which unlie models for the management of these important systems.
This course introduces the fundamental processes occurring in shelf seas and estuaries and examines the relationship between physics, chemistry and sediments. Topics covered include: Air-sea interaction (heat, gases etc). Water column structure: seasonal stratification and mixing and their impact on primary productivity. Inputs of fresh water at the coast and estuarine circulation. Movement of sediments in shelf seas and estuaries. The behaviour of nutrients and other chemicals in the estuarine environment. How these processes interact to affect water quality and influence the management of estuaries by man palaeo-oceanography of shelf seas. An introduction to numerical modelling of marine systems.
The course is taught through lectures, laboratory and computer practicals and a field course.
Partial understanding of basic principles of shelf sea and estuarine physics Basic appreciation of the principles of estuarine and shelf sea sedimentation processes Basic knowledge of the source, cycling and fate of nutrients and other chemicals in estuaries Basic understanding of the palaeo-oceanography of shelf seas
Clear understanding of basic principles of shelf sea and estuarine physics Clear appreciation of the principles of estuarine and shelf sea sedimentation processes Comprehensive knowledge of the source, cycling and fate of nutrients and other chemicals in estuaries Good understanding of the palaeo-oceanography of shelf seas
Thorough understanding of basic principles of shelf sea and estuarine physics Highly developed appreciation of the principles of estuarine and shelf sea sedimentation processes Thorough knowledge of the source, cycling and fate of nutrients and other chemicals in estuaries Highly developed understanding of the palaeo-oceanography of shelf seas
Appreciate how physical, chemical, geological and biological processes interact to affect water quality and influence the management of estuaries by man
Demonstrate an understanding of the way that stratification forms and is destroyed in shelf seas and estuaries, and a knowledge of fronts that lie between stratified and mixed water
Demonstrate an understanding of the principal chemical processes in shelf seas and estuaries, and how these are related to physical forcing.
Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the suspended and seabed sediments in shelf seas and estuaries and the processes which control sediment suspension and transport
Appreciate sources, sinks and cycles of nutrients and other chemicals in estuaries.
Master some simple laboratory techniques to assess chemical distributions in estuaries.
|COURSEWORK||Heating & Stirring Numerical Modelling Exercise||
Online test to follow-up from class based introduction to numerical modelling of the positions of shelf sea fronts.
|COURSEWORK||Online test: Estuarine Chemistry||
Online test to follow up on lab based marine bio geochemistry exercises.
Online test assessing a lab based instrumentation workshop and computer based data analysis exercise.
Exam to test full range of learning outcomes.
|COURSEWORK||Estuaries and Estuarine Flushing||
Online test to assess a computer based practical examining key characteristics of estuarine circulation.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Two 1 hour lectures per week
|Practical classes and workshops||
Four 3 hour practicals covering the physics, chemistry and sedimentology of estuaries and shelf seas. These include student led numerical modelling studies, numerical problem solving, lab based chemical experiments and geoscience work.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Pre- and Co-requisite Modules
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- F650: BSC Geological Oceanography year 2 (BSC/GEO)
- 8S54: BSc Geological Oceanography (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/GEOIE)
- F842: BSc Marine Geography year 2 (BSC/MARG)
- F710: BSC Marine Environmental Studies year 2 (BSC/MES)
- F713: BSc Marine Environmental Stud with International Experience year 2 (BSC/MESIE)
- F7F6: BSc Ocean and Geophysics year 2 (BSC/OGP)
- F700: BSC Ocean Science year 2 (BSC/OS)
- F652: MSci Geological Oceanography year 2 (MSCI/GO)
- F734: MSci Physical Oceanography year 2 (MSCI/PO)
Optional in courses:
- C163: BSC Applied Marine Biology year 2 (BSC/AMB4)
- C166: BSc Applied Marine Biology (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/AMB4IE)
- F900: BSC Environmental Science year 2 (BSC/ES)
- 8U71: BSc Environmental Science (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/ESIE)
- C160: BSC Marine Biology year 2 (BSC/MB)
- C165: BSc Marine Biology (with International Experience) year 2 (BSC/MBIE)
- CF17: BSC Marine Biology/Oceanography year 2 (BSC/MBO)
- C351: BSC Marine Vertebrate Zoology year 2 (BSC/MVZ)
- 2F11: BSc Marine Vertebrate Zoology (with International Experience year 2 (BSC/MVZIE)
- F840: BSc Physical Geography and Oceanography year 2 (BSC/PGO)
- F850: Master of Environmental Science year 2 (M/ENVSCI)
- 2W79: MMBiol Marine Biology (with International Experience) year 2 (MMBIOL/MBI)
- C167: MSci Marine Biology year 2 (MSCI/MB)
- F712: MSci Marine Biology and Oceanography year 2 (MSCI/MBO)
- C168: MSci Marine Vertebrate Zoology year 2 (MSCI/MVZ)