Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics

Book Reviews

“Vallis writes explanations as clear as tropical ocean waters, bringing fresh new light to complex concepts. This expanded text will be immediately useful both for graduate students and seasoned researchers in the field.”

Dargan M. W. Frierson, University of Washington

“In 2006, Vallis' first edition of AOFD offered the atmospheric and oceanic sciences community a truly great book, marking a milestone in our discipline. Well, Vallis has done it again! This second edition of AOFD represents the pinnacle of a maturing discipline. It is The Great Book of the field, and it will remain so for a generation or longer.

AOFD-2 dives deep into atmospheric and oceanic fluid dynamics, spanning a wealth of topics while offering the reader lucid, pedagogical, and thorough presentations across a universe of knowledge. There are really three books here: one focused on geophysical fluid dynamic fundamentals; a second on atmospheric dynamics; and a third on oceanic dynamics. Each part offers new material relative to the first edition, as well as the reworking of earlier presentations to enhance pedagogy and update understanding based on recent research. AOFD-2 succeeds in furthering our appreciation for the fundamentals by developing mechanistic and rational descriptions of the rich and complex arena of planetary fluid dynamic phenomena that emerge from the fundamentals. In turn, the reader is privileged to receive a unified presentation from a master scientific writer whose pedagogy is unmatched in the discipline. This book is a truly grand achievement.

This book will be well used by fluid dynamicists, oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, applied mathematicians, and physicists for decades to come. Each sentence, paragraph, section, chapter, and figure, are thoughtful and erudite, providing the reader with insights and rigor needed to truly capture the physical and mathematical essence of each topic.”

Stephen M. Griffies, GFDL and Princeton University

"The first edition of Geoff Vallis’s Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics provided an exceptionally valuable introduction to the dynamical theory of the large-scale circulation of the atmosphere and ocean — valuable for its incorporation, in a theoretical treatment, of many important topics that had developed or emerged in the previous thirty years of so, its clarity of presentation of these topics and, not least, its affirmation that a coherent unified dynamical theory for both atmosphere and ocean, is still required and can still be articulated, notwithstanding the many differences of detail between them.

This second edition is a further major achievement by the author. It includes significant new material on the atmosphere and on the ocean, presented in two separate later sections of the book, but building carefully and clearly on the ‘unified’ material in the first part of the book. This is a very effective (and perhaps the only effective) way to bring the reader close to the research frontier without losing the unified treatment. The author is candid that his choice of topics in these later sections is a personal one and that others might have made different choices and presented them in different ways, but the success of this book is determined by what it contains and little compromised by what it does not contain. The second edition will be an exceptionally valuable resource for those designing advanced-level courses, for the students taking those courses and for researchers, many of whom will surely be stimulated by the clear presentation of existing theory to identify what such theory does not explain and where progress is needed."

Peter Haynes, University of Cambridge

“Vallis speaks my language. He successfully weaves together fundamental theory, physical intuition, and observed phenomena to tell the story of geophysical fluid behavior at local and global scales. This multi-pronged approach makes this an ideal text for both beginners and experts alike - there is something for everyone. This is why it is the book I use for my class, the book I recommend to incoming graduate students (no matter their background) and the book I go to first when I need clarity on GFD topics. The first edition of this book has been my go-to text since it was first published.

With the new edition, we now get an even more comprehensive view of how the fundamental processes that dictate the evolution of our atmosphere and oceans drive the complex phenomena we observe.”

Elizabeth A. Barnes, Colorado State University:

“This second edition is even more comprehensive than the first. It now covers subjects such as the derivation of the first law of thermodynamics, the fundamental physics involved in the meridional overturning of the ocean, and equatorial oceanography. The book concentrates on the fundamentals of each subject, with sufficient motivation to make the exposition clear. For good reason, the first edition is now the standard text for courses in oceanography, and this will clearly continue with this second edition, helping all of us, not just students, to clarify our understanding of this field.”

Trevor J McDougall, University of New South Wales

“Vallis has written a compendious account of geophysical fluid mechanics with coverage of many topics not easily found in other textbooks and research monographs. In the first five chapters the fundamentals are covered thoroughly at the level of a good introductory one-semester class required for beginning meteorologists and oceanographers. The other seventeen chapters contain a mixture of topics, all treated at the level of a research monograph. Researchers looking for an informative and coherent treatment of the dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean, starting at a fundamental level, and proceeding to advanced topics, will find that this book is a truly superb resource.

The book is particularly notable for its even-handed treatment of the ocean and the atmosphere and its synthetic discussion of observations, numerics and analytic methods. Other unique features include signposted guides to unsettled research problems, extensive historical notes and even relevant literary quotations.”

William R. Young, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

From reviews of the First Edition

“Its presentation [is] exceptionally clear and concise … extremely helpful to introduce the issues of fluid dynamics to students … I would be happy to see this wonderful textbook on as many desks of our community as possible.”
- Meteorologische Zeitschrift

“ … sure to grace the shelves of libraries and … individuals for many years to come, both as a reference and a tutorial text.”
- Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society

"The extensive material is originally prepared and selected skillfully and didactically ... the sense of the big picture does not get lost, and the writing style is fresh ... As a whole this is a highly recommended textbook: those who would like to gain a deeper understanding of the large-scale atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and at the same time want to be provided with the necessary hydrodynamic foundations, will be served very well indeed by this book."

Physik Journal

To see more reviews of the first edition click here