Module OSX-3005:
Coastal Water Processes

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Hilary Kennedy

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of this module is to give a systematic understanding of two key aspects of coastal waters. The module has two separate strands. In the chemical components the lectures will build on previous knowledge to develop a comprehensive understanding of the spatial and temporal variation in organic matter synthesis and remineralisation that control nutrient and carbon concentrations in the water column and the underlying sediments. Lectures and practicals will have a focus on how man's activities affect these processes. The physical component will develop ideas about heating and cooling of water, stratification, vertical mixing and suspended sediments, introduced in the second year in a quantitative way. The physics of coastal waters will be linked to nutrient and carbon cycling through simple computer models. In practical exercises using these models, students will learn how to predict the seasonal variation of temperature, turbidity, nutrients and primary production in coastal waters.

Course content

The course of 16 lectures is designed to give a systematic understanding of two key aspects of coastal waters. The physical component of the course develops ideas you will have come across in the second year about stratification and vertical mixing in shelf seas and oceans. You will be introduced to the idea of making forecasts about the ocean using computer software and models. You will learn how to make predictions about the coastal ocean changes with the seasons. You will learn how to extend yor predictions to suspended sediments, nutrients and primary productivity in the oceans. The chemical component of the module examines in detail the biogeochemical processes controlling the concentration and distribution of biologically important elements in the water column and underlying sediments. The module material will allow an understanding of how man's activity cause perturbations of these processes. It will contribute to your understanding of the temporal and spatial variation in element concentrations related to organic matter production and destruction and how both the physics of the water column and mans' activities can impact on their distribution.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

  1. Basic appreciation of biogeochemical processes that regulate both the concentration and temporal and spatial distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters and underlying sediments.
  2. Basic ability to describe the effect of physical and biogeochemical processes and man's activities on distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters.
  3. Basic ability to manage your own learning and to make use of the referred research articles.
  4. Attendance at practical sessions.

good

  1. Able to appreciate biogeochemical processes that regulate the both the concentration and temporal and spatial distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters and their underlying sediments.
  2. Ability to describe the effect of physical and biogeochemical processes and man's activities on distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters.
  3. Demonstrate management of own learning and use of referred research articles.
  4. Attendance at practical sessions and perform practical work and analysis of data in a competent manner.

excellent

  1. Considerable appreciation of biogeochemical processes that regulate both the concentration and temporal and spatial distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters and underlying sediments.
  2. Considerable ability to describe the effect of physical and biogeochemical processes and man's activities on distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters.
  3. Thorough demonstration of ability to manage your own learning and to make use of referred research articles.
  4. Attendance at practical sessions and carry out experimental work carefully in an enquiring manner - performing additional experiments/tests to answer questions raised.

Learning outcomes

  1. Have developed an understanding of biogeochemical processes that regulate the concentration and temporal and spatial distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters and the underlying sediments.

  2. Appreciate the role of the seasons in governing temporal variations in stratification, nutrient dynamics and primary productivity of the oceans.

  3. Be conversant with the effect of physical processes and man's activities on distribution of dissolved and particulate constituents in coastal waters.

  4. Be able to manage your own learning and to make use of referred research articles.

  5. Have developed a quantitative understanding of the processes that promote and destroy stratification in the sea.

  6. Be able to make quantitative predictions about stratification by solving the governing equations numerically.

  7. Make accurate and precise chemical measurements, be able to interpret and discuss data and write a scientific report.

  8. Appreciate the effects of man's activities on biogeochemical cycles.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Report: tidal modelling 20
COURSEWORK Fish farm report 20
EXAM Exam 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 178
Lecture

Two lectures per week, one hour each, in every four weeks out of five.

16
Practical classes and workshops

Two practicals, each 3 hours.

6

Transferable skills

  • 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
  • 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

Courses including this module