Chapter 2 - The Historical Setting
2.4 Evolution of some Theoretical Ideas
A theoretical understanding of oceanic
processes is based on classical physics coupled with an evolving understanding
of chaotic systems in
mathematics and the application to the theory of turbulence. The dates given
below are approximate.
19th Century Development of analytic hydrodynamics. Lamb's Hydrodynamics is
the pinnacle of this work. Bjerknes develops geostrophic method
widely used in meteorology and oceanography.
1925-40 Development of theories
for turbulence based on aerodynamics and
mixing-length ideas. Work of Prandtl and von Karmen.
of theories for turbulence based on statistical correlations and the idea
of isotropic homogeneous turbulence. Books by Batchelor (1967), Hinze (1975),
1970 Numerical investigations of turbulent
geophysical fluid dynamics based
on high-speed digital computers.
1985 Mechanics of chaotic processes. The
application to hydrodynamics is just beginning. Most motion in the atmosphere
and ocean may be inherently unpredictable.