Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on COMMAND AND MANAGEMENT OF A MARINE VESSEL
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 


Lectures are in Italian. The professor are available to interact with students in English

Course description

The educational objectives of the course are related to the knowledge of the main properties of the ocean and of the atmosphere as well as their dynamics at several spatial and temporal scales. Additionally, the equations of oceanic and atmospheric motions will be described also through some simplifications.

Students shall prove to know the characteristics of the main oceanographic and atmospheric phenomena. The course also aims at increasing the ability of reading graphs, maps and bulletins associated to oceanographic and meteorological data.

Students shall prove to apply the main theoretical and practical knowledge acquired during the course in order to identify and describe the observed oceanographic and meteorological phenomena.

Students shall autonomously evaluate any advantage or danger associated to the oceanographic and meteorological dynamics, focusing on weather conditions that result in a danger for the navigation.

Students shall acquire the skill of reading, understanding and transmitting the informations obtained through any oceanographic bulletin, forecast or observation.

Students shall be capable of continuously update their knowledge, by reading books, articles and oceanic and weather forecasts and bulletin, in order to guarantee a state of the art information of the sea and weather state to the navigation officers.


Basics knowledge of maths and physics.


- Chemical composition of the atmosphere and its vertical structure
- Solar and terrestrial radiation.
- Energy budget.
- Atmosphere thermodynamics.
- Cloud formation and classification.
- Thermodynamic diagrams.
- Motion equations in meteorology.
- Geostrophic wind, thermal wind.
- Ekman layer equations.
- General circulation of the atmosphere, convective processes, meridional circulation, main wind patterns, cyclones.
- Weather fronts.
-Synoptic processes, North Atlantic Oscillation, Monsoon.

- Physical properties of the sea water
- Main patterns of water mass properties.
- Heat, salt and mass balance.
- Water column stability and double diffusion.
- Equations of motions in oceanography.
- No friction currents.
- Inertial motion
- Geostrophic flow.
- Currents including friction. Ekman currents
- Mediterranean water masses and their circulation.
- The role of ocean in the global climate.
- Short background on tides and waves.

1. Equations of motions analysis.
2. reading a thermodynamic diagram.
3. reading a T/S diagram.
4. Practical method for the estimation of the geostrophic current.
Following the attachment 1 of the MIT decree dated 19th December 2016 the following competencies required will be acquired in meteorology (30 h):
a) Interpretation of meteorological data obtained through onboard instruments;
b) Knowledge and understanding of the different meteorological systems and their reporting;
c) Use of available meteorological data.

The course deals with the basic elements required to study the atmosphere and the ocean properties and dynamics. The main physical properties of ocean and atmosphere, as well as the main processes will be described in a first descriptive session of the course. Then the equations of oceanic and atmospheric motions and their thermodynamics will be discussed.
The course gives some competencies required by the STCW Convention, as amended, for Deck Officers at Operational Level, embodied in the MIT decree dated 19th December 2016, namely “Percorso formativo per accedere alle figure professionali di Allievo Ufficiale di Coperta e Allievo Ufficiale di Macchina”.
Particularly, the course gives the following competencies, listed in the Attachment I of the above-mentioned decree, for Deck Officer Cadets:

Teaching Methods

Frontal lessons.



"Essential of Meteorology: an invitation to the Atmosphere" di G. Donald Ahrens. Third Edition (pdf on line)

Collana "Meteorologia" di Andrea Corigliano (Ronca Editore).
Volume 1: L'atmosfera: costituzione, struttura e proprietà
Volume 2: Gli elementi meteorologici principali
Volume 3: Le masse d'aria e le loro caratteristiche fisiche
Volume 4: La circolazione atmosferica: dalla grande scala al mediterraneo

"Manuale di meteorologia" 2009 di M. Giuliacci,‎ A. Giuliacci,‎ P. Corazzon

"Descriptive Physical oceanography: an introduction, di GL Pickard e WJ Emery

Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Robert Stewart
Texas A&M University - PDF ONLINE -

Powerpoint presentations and pdf files will be provided during the course.

Learning assessment

The exam consists of verifying the achievement of the previously defined educational goals, by an oral examination during which students shall discuss the main topics of the course,in order to evaluate the autonomous capacity of reading and comprehension.

More information

Lectures are in Italian. The professors are fluent in English and are available to interact with students in English, also during the examination