Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics

Second Edition, Now Available

January, 2019

See also quick links on the left and above.


Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Mechanics: Fundamentals and Large-Scale Circulation (2nd edition) is a book that, as its title suggests, goes from the basics of GFD to current theories of the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean. It is written to be useful both to students and practicing scientists. The first half of the book covers the basics of GFD at the level of advanced undergraduate or graduate level courses. The rest of the book is like a research monograph in that it goes to the edge of what is known and contains original material, but it is pedagogically written at a level that is accessible to graduate students.

The best way to get a sense of the book is to look at the table of contents or download a sample, look at the review using the links below. The download files are small (<< 1 MB) except for the book sample itslf, which is 6 MB. Click here to see the bookcover. Various codes used in the book for calculations and to create figures are also available.

Compared to the first edition, over half the content of the book is new and the book is in full color throughout. New chapters include ones on general wave theory, gravity waves, the tropical atmosphere, the stratosphere, the oceanic MOC, and the equatorial ocean and El Nino.

Shorter, simpler book

If you feel that this book is too much, and may be more than you want, you may be interested Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics, just published. This books is 1/3 the length of AOFD --- there is less detail and the book is designed to be readily accessible to students and non-specialists.
To find out more, click here

Samples and Downloads

Reviews:   Web page     PDF file

Front matter:   Introduction, copyright page, reviews, preface, table of contents (PDF).

A 200 page sample of the book.   Contains the front matter, the table of contents, the preface, extracts from many of the chapters, and the index (PDF, 6 MB).


Some codes used in the book are available by clicking here.


All of the figures from the book are available from here.

Find and Buy

The ISBN of the book is 978-1107-065505
The DOI of the book is 10.1017/9781107588417

You may purchase the book by clicking on one of the links below.
From the publisher:   Cambridge University Press
Or from Amazon:
      Amazon USA       Amazon UK                 Amazon Canada
Amazon Japan             Amazon France           Amazon Italy
        Amazon India           Amazon Australia       Amazon Germany

You can buy an e-book (a print replica, essentially a PDF) from:
or a kindle version from the one of the Amazon home pages for the book.

You can find multiple sources for the book (e.g. Google Books, Amazons worldwide, libraries) by using the following link:
    Wiki book finder
and then click on one of the 'find this book' links lower down that page.
You can also find the book by scanning this barcode in using a smartphone:


Vallis, G. K., 2017. Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics: Fundamentals and Large-scale Circulation, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press. 946 pp.

Download bibtex reference
View bibtex reference



Chapter 1. Equations of Motion

Chapter 2. Effects of Rotation and Stratification

Chapter 3. Shallow Water Systems

Chapter 4. Vorticity and Potential Vorticity

Chapter 5. Geostrophic Theory


Chapter 6. Wave Fundamentals

Chapter 7. Gravity Waves

Chapter 8. Linear Dynamics at Low Latitudes

Chapter 9. Barotropic and Baroclinic Instability

Chapter 10. Waves, Mean Flows and their Interaction

Chapter 11. Basics of Incompressible Turbulence

Chapter 12. Geostrophic Turbulence and Baroclinic Eddies

Chapter 13. Turbulent Diffusion and Eddy Transport


Chapter 14. The Overturning Circulation: Hadley and Ferrel Cells

Chapter 15. Zonally-Averaged Mid-Latitude Atmospehric Circulation

Chapter 16. Planetary Waves and Zonal Asymmetries

Chapter 17. The Stratosphere

Chapter 18. Water Vapour and the Tropical Atmosphere


Chapter 19. Wind-Driven Gyres

Chapter 20. Structure of the Upper Ocean

Chapter 21. The Meridional Overturning Circulation and ACC

Chapter 22. Equatorial Circulation and El Nino

Still to come

I will provide more codes, problem sets and some solutions in the weeks and months ahead. If you would like to contribute some let me know.

For your amusement

To understand the joys of bookwriting Click here.

For a light-hearted lesson in buoyancy, Click here.

and for a disconcerting lesson in optics, Click here.

if you have any similar examples, or comments on the book.