School of Environmental Sciences

Oceanography and Protection of Coastal Seas

This course is part of the programme:
Master’s study programme Environment (2nd level)

Objectives and competences

To gain the necessary knowledge about the structure and composition of oceans and seas as essential reservoirs of heat and water vapour, which affect climatic changes on Earth as well as on life in littoral areas. Students obtain the necessary knowledge about the structure of oceans and seas as well as about the basics of dynamic processes taking in them. The course represents the core of the essential knowledge for the graduates whose future careers shall concern climatic problems and the transport of pollutants on large distances, as well as for the graduates who shall use their knowledge on ecology in their careers in littoral areas.


Prerequisite knowledge of physics and chemistry are sufficient to follow the course content. Elementary knowledge of mathematical analysis and numerical methods is also required. In terms of content, the course is especially related to courses such as Marine Ecology, Meteorology, Hidrology, Environmental Monitoring and Modelling.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Descriptive oceanography, the fundamentals of dynamic oceanography.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Students understand fundamental processes that are present in seas. They can estimate key anthropogenic and natural drivers that affect properties in seas e.g circulation, thermohaline properties, distribition of pollutants. They can deduce space and time variability of environmental properties.



Pickard, G. L. in W. L. Emery, 1990. Descriptive Physical Oceanography. Butterworth-Heinemann, 320 str.

Pickard, G. L. in S. Pond, 1983. Introductory Dynamical Oceanography. Butterworth-Heinemann, 349 str.


Beer, T., 1983: Environmental Oceanography. Pregamon Press, 262 str.

Tolmazin, D., 1985: Elements of Dynamic Oceanography. Chapman and Hall, 181 str.

Pugh, D. T., 1987: Tides, Surges and Mean-Sea Levell. John Wiley, 472 str.

Cushman-Roisin, B., 1994: Introduction to Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. Prentice Hall, 320.

Emery, W. J. in R. E. Thomson, 1998: Data Analysis Methods in Physical Oceanography. Pergamon Press, 634 str.


Written test and seminar work (75 %), oral defence (25 %)

Lecturer's references

Associate Professor of Physics at the Faculty of Matrhematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana.

1.01 Izvirni znanstveni članek

1. RAMŠAK, Vanja, MALAČIČ, Vlado, LIČER, Matjaž, KOTNIK, Jože, HORVAT, Milena, ŽAGAR, Dušan. High-resolution pollutant dispersion modelling in contaminated coastal sites.Environmental research, ISSN 0013-9351, avg. 2013, št. 125, str. 103-112, ilustr., doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2012.12.013. [COBISS.SI-ID 6203745]

2. RAICICH, Fabio, MALAČIČ, Vlado, CELIO, Massimo, GIAIOTTI, D., CANTONI, Carolina, COLUCCI, Renato R., ČERMELJ, Branko, PUCILLO, A. Extreme air-sea interactions in the Gulf of Trieste (North Adriatic) during the strong Bora event in winter 2012. Journal of geophysical research, ISSN 0148-0227, 2013, vol. 118, no. 1, str. 5238-5250, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20398. [COBISS.SI-ID 2934607]

3. COSOLI, Simone, LIČER, Matjaž, VODOPIVEC, Martin, MALAČIČ, Vlado. Surface circulation in the Gulf of Trieste (northern Adriatic Sea) from radar, model, and ADCP comparisons.Journal of geophysical research, ISSN 0148-0227, 2013, vol. 118, issue 11, str. 6183-6200., doi: 10.1002/2013JC009261. [COBISS.SI-ID2965071]

4. MIHANOVIĆ, Hrvoje, VILIBIĆ, Ivica, CARNIEL, S., TUDOR, M., RUSSO, A., BERGAMASCO, A., BUBIĆ, N., LJUBEŠIĆ, Z., VILIČIĆ, Damir, BOLDRIN, A., MALAČIČ, Vlado, CELIO, Massimo, COMICI, Cinzia, RAICICH, F. Exceptional dense water formation on the Adriatic shelf in the winter of 2012. Ocean Science, ISSN 1812-0784, 2013, vol. 9, no. 3, str. 561-572, graf. prikazi. [COBISS.SI-ID 2814031]

5. MALAČIČ, Vlado, PETELIN, Boris, VODOPIVEC, Martin. Topographic control of wind-driven circulation in the northern Adriatic. Journal of geophysical research, ISSN 0148-0227, 2012, vol. 117, št. C06032, str. 1-16, doi: 10.1029/2012JC008063. [COBISS.SI-ID 2595663]

University course code: 2OK021

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Exercises: 15 hours
  • Individual work: 135 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: slovene and english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • tutorial • students' individual work