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Physical oceanography encompasses observations and dynamics of the ocean. The research group focuses on the dynamics of large-scale flows like the Gulf Stream and the Meridional Overturning Circulation, and the circulation in high latitude regions. The group also studies turbulent dispersion, relevant for the spreading of pollution like plastics.

Poleward-drifter trajectories at the coast at North-Norway. Figure: Inga Koszalka, UiO

Poleward-drifter trajectories at the coast at North-Norway (larger version). Figure: Inga Koszalka, UiO

About the group

The ocean is studied by collecting observations, running numerical models and by constructing simplified theories. Our group is primarily focused on interpreting observations and complex model results in terms of simplified theory. Research topics include the dynamics of the Gulf Stream, the Meridional Overturning Circulation, and high latitude flows in the Arctic and Southern Oceans and along the Norwegian coast. We also study turbulent dispersion, to diagnose oceanic transport.

We employ models of varying degrees of complexity, from idealized mathematical models (“theory”) to full complexity Earth Systems Models. We also employ a range of ocean observations, from surface drifters and subsurface floats, long-term current meters, satellites and from ship campaigns. As such, physical oceanography allows students to develop math and computational skills while gaining understanding of a key part of the climate and ecosystem, globally and regionally.


The group has extensive collaborations with scientists in Norway and in other countries. These frequently involve research and training of PhD students and postdocs. At present the following PhD students and postdocs are affiliated with the Oceanography group:

  • Marta Trodahl
  • Gaurav Madan
  • Anna Lina Sjur
  • Håvard Espenes, Akvaplan-NIVA
Tags: Oceanography
Published Feb. 7, 2011 3:31 PM - Last modified Nov. 21, 2022 4:02 PM