Research                      Teaching WORLD OCEAN CLIMATOLOGY

A. Colin de Verdiere



  • Universite de Bretagne Occidentale

  •     Laboratoire d'Oceanographie Physique et Spatiale
        IUEM Technopole Brest Iroise
        Bat D rue Dumont d'Urville
        29280 Plouzane France
  •  email: acolindv (at)
  • tel:
  • fax:
  • Research

    Large scale Ocean Circulation
    Geostrophic turbulence and Lagrangian observations
    Climate Dynamics
  • For an elementary presentation of large scale oceanic circulation given at the European School ERCA in 2004, click here
  • A few papers


    Da Costa E. D., A.Colin de Verdiere, 2002, The 7.7 year North Atlantic Oscillation.
    Quaterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 128, 797-817

    Colin de Verdiere A., 2002, Un fluide lent entre deux spheres en rotation rapide: les
    theories de la circulation oceanique, Annales Mathematiques Blaise Pascal, 9, 245-268
    in french

    Colin de Verdiere A and R. Tailleux, 2004, The interaction of a baroclinic mean flow with long 
    Rossby waves, Journal of Phys.Oceanogr.

    Colin de Verdiere A, M. Ben Jelloul, F. Sevellec, 2006, Bifurcation structure of thermohaline millennial oscillations, Journal of Climate, November 15 2006, 5777-5795.

    Colin de Verdiere A., 2007, A simple model of millennial thermohaline oscillations, Journal of Physical Oceanography.

    Ollitrault M. A. Colin de Verdiere, 2014, The World Ocean circulation near 1000 m depth.

    Colin de Verdiere A. and M.Ollitrault, 2016, A direct determination of the World Ocean barotropic circulation.

    Colin de Verdiere A., T. Meunier and M. Ollitrault, 2019, Meridional overturning and heat transport from Argo floats displacements and the Planetary Geostrophic Method.

    A brief discussion of the origin of science and of the relationship between experiments and models in Oceanography was presented at the Brest PhD meeting (2019). It is available (in english) here


    Fluid Mechanics and Oceanography

    Fluid Mechanics: an introduction appropriate for 1st year of a Physics Master degree course  in french

    Oceanic circulation: graduate level for 2 nd year of a Physical Oceanography Master degree lecture notes  in french

    Dynamique Oceanique: Chapitres 1, 2, 3 (cours en francais) appropriate for Master 2 in Physcial Oceanography.

    World ocean climatology "WOANDRO"

    A World Ocean Climatology based on World Ocean Atlas for temperature, salinity and ANDRO for velocity from Argo floats with a resolution of 1 deg x 1 deg. Data is stored in a single file which contains T, S, geopotential (absolute), u, v, w in a .mat Matlab format.   The first step of the method is to compute a geopotential at 1000 db, the displacement float level from the relative vorticity float fields with the equation of balance (a Poisson equation in the horizontal domain). Given a density climatology such as WOA, hydrostatics allows then to obtain the geopotential at all pressures. Finally geostrophy is used to compute the u and v velocity. The whole procedure amounts to get rid of the divergent part of the float velocities.
    The reconstruction uses a staggered A grid for different variables. Hence there is a specific grid lat_p, lon_p for T, S, geopotential (and relative vorticity if needed), one  grid lat_u, lon_u for u, one grid  lat_v, lon_v for v and one grid lat_w, lon_w for w (where horizontal divergence is computed). I have included the Ekman transport from Large and Yeager's wind stress. When the Ekman velocities constant in a 50 m layer are added to the geostrophic velocities, the vertical velocity is obtained from continuity with w=0 at the surface. The above papers 2014, 2016 and 2019 explain the method and outline some of the potential for applications.
    The end product is the result of many, still ongoing, efforts to generate a high quality float displacements data base ANDRO by C. Cabane, N. Kolodziejczyk, M. Ollitrault, JP. Rannou and the Altran Ouest team.

    Click here to access the . mat climatology: DATA


  • Introduction a la Dynamique des Oceans et du Climat (en francais) : le livre en deux volumes (Ocean et Climat) fait le lien entre les observations et leurs causes physiques. Son objectif est de rendre le sujet accessible pour des etudiants debutants de parcours divers, Sciences de la Terre et de l’Univers, Oceanographie, Meteorologie, Physique et Mathematiques et aussi pour l’amateur passionne par la mer et le climat. Publie en juin 2020, il est disponible chez EDP SCIENCES.
  • Un descriptif est disponible ici
  • Quelques erreurs des deux livres ont ete corrigees et sont visibles ici