The fluid kaleidoscope of the Earth's ocean and atmosphere churns and sparkles with jets, gyres, eddies, waves, streams, and cyclones. These vast circulations, essential elements of the physical environment that support human life, are given a special character by the Earth's rotation and by their confinement to a shallow surficial layer, thin relative to the solid Earth in roughly the same proportion as an apple skin is to an apple. Geophysical fluid dynamics exploits this special character to develop a unified theoretical approach to the physics of the ocean and atmosphere.
With Lectures on Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Rick Salmon has added an insightful and provocative volume to the handful of authoritative texts currently available on the subject. The book is intended for first-year graduate students, but advanced students and researchers also will find it useful. It is divided into seven chapters, the first four of these adapted from course lectures. The book is well written and presents a fresh and stimulating perspective that complements existing texts. It would serve equally well either as the main text for a core graduate curriculum or as a supplementary resource for students and teachers seeking new approaches to both classical and contemporary problems. A lively set of footnotes contains many references to very recent work. The printing is attractive, the binding is of high quality, and typographical errors are few.