Astro 6575/EAS 5750 Fall 2014


Objectives: Introduction of observations of planetary atmospheres and dynamics of global atmospheric circulations


Tuesday and Thursday 11:40-12:55, Space Sciences 105


Peter Gierasch, 318 Space Sciences,, 255-8544

Gang Chen, 1115 Bradfield Hall,, 255-1503


Week 1 (Aug 26)

Observations: compositions, temperatures, circulations

Week 2 (Sep 2)

Vertical structure: homosphere, heterosphere

Week 3 (Sep 9)

Equations of motion

Week 4 (Sep 16)

Hydrostatics, geostrophy, thermal wind

Week 5 (Sep 23)

Planetary examples

Week 6 (Sep 30)

Rossby waves, wave propagation and pseudomomentum

Week 7 (Oct 7)

Quasigeostrophic formalism, topographic forced stationary waves

Fall break (Oct 11-Oct 14)

Week 8 (Oct 16)

Barotropic and baroclinic instability I: Mars, Earth

Week 9 (Oct 21)

Barotropic and baroclinic instability II: Mars, Earth

Energetics and Lorenz energy cycle

Week 10 (Oct 28)

Two dimensional flow and inverse cascades: Jupiter and Saturn I

Week 11 (Nov 4)

Two dimensional flow and inverse cascades: Jupiter and Saturn II

Week 12 (Nov 11)

Numerical general circulation modeling I: numerical method

Week 13 (Nov 18)

Numerical general circulation modeling II: computer lab

Week 14 (Oct 25)

Internal gravity waves I: Mars, Venus, Titan

Thanksgiving (Nov 26-Nov 30)

Week 15 (Dec 2)

Internal gravity waves II: Mars, Venus, Titan


Andrews, An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics, Cambridge U. Press

Holton, An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, Academic Press

Ingersoll, Planetary Climates, Princeton U. Press

Lodders and Fegley, The Planetary Scientist's Companion, Oxford U. Press

Vallis, Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, Cambridge U. Press


Problem sets every two weeks or so, mid-term and final examinations.

Grades: 1/3 problem sets, 1/6 mid-term, 1/2 final.