Syllabus & Schedule - Winter 2019


Benoit Cushman-Roisin
134 Cummings
Telephone: 1-603-646-3248

Teaching Assistant

Perhaps one, perhaps non, depending on enrollment

Course description

Applications of fluid mechanics to natural flows of water and air in environmentally relevant systems. The course begins with a review of fundamental fluid physics with emphasis on mass, momentum and energy conservation. These concepts are then utilized to study processes that naturally occur in air and water, such as boundary layers, waves, instabilities, turbulence, mixing, convection, plumes and stratification. The knowledge of these processes is then sequentially applied to the following environmental fluid systems: rivers and streams, wetlands, lakes and reservoirs, estuaries, the coastal ocean, smokestack plumes, urban airsheds, the lower atmospheric boundary layer, and the troposphere. Interactions between air and water systems are also studied in context (ex. Sea breeze in the context of the lower atmospheric boundary layer).

Prerequisites: ENGS 25 (Thermodynamics), ENGS 34 (Fluid Mechanics), and ENGS 37 (Introduction to Environmental Engineering), or equivalent.

Textbook (no purchase necessary)

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
by Benoit Cushman-Roisin
in preparation, under contract with John Wiley & Sons, © 2019

Chapters available on this page.

Course Objectives

Course Format


Academic Honor Principle

As always, students are expected to observe all aspects of the Academic Honor Principle. In this course, collaboration among students is allowed for problem sets, but students still have to turn in their individual answers. No collaboration whatsoever is allowed during the mid-term examination. During that assignment, questions can only be directed to the instructor.

Dartmouth College policy requires that any apparent violation of the Honor Prinicple be reported to the Committee on Standards. The professor does not have another choice, regardless of how he/she may feel.

Note on laptop use in class

Use of laptop computers is forbidden during class. The only granted exception is to students with documented writing disabilities who need a computer for note taking.

Note to students with disabilities

Students with any type of disability are encouraged to contact the instructor to discuss their needs and what accommodations are necessary. Such contact should be made at the beginning of the term or, in the case of a new condition, as soon as it occurs.


Classes meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:25 to 4:15pm and occasionally (X-hours) on Wednesdays from 4:35 to 5:25pm, in 105 Cummings.

Week of Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1 January - - - Introduction -
7 January - Budgets - Differential Equations -
14 January - Dimensionless
- Guest lecture
by Nick Foukal
21 January - Surface Waves
- Internal Waves
K-H Instability
28 January - Mixing

(at 10am)
Turbulence Mid-term

(at 5pm)
4 February - Jets
- Thermals
Buoyant Jets
11 February - Atmospheric
Boundary Layer
- Weather -
18 February - Rivers:
- Rivers:
varied flow
25 February - Rivers:
varied flow
- Field trip to
local streams
4 March - Wetlands
- - -
11 March Final oral exams
1st set of students
Final oral exams
2nd set of students
- - -