Syllabus & Schedule - Spring 2014


Benoit Cushman-Roisin
327 Murdough
Telephone: 1-603-646-9075

Teaching Assistant

Ashna Sharma
Office location: MEM Space

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.

Web address

Textbook (no purchase necessary)

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
by Benoit Cushman-Roisin
in preparation
under contract with John Wiley & Sons, © 2014

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, as defined in Organization, Regulations and Courses. In this course, collaboration is allowed during homework preparation, although students have to turn in their individual answers. No collaboration whatsoever is allowed during the mid-term and final examinations. During those assignments, questions can only be directed to the instructor or the TA.

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 Mondays from 2 to 3pm, Tuesdays from 4 to 5pm and Thursdays from 1 to 2pm.

Week of Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
24 March Introduction Introduction
- Budgets -
31 March Budgets
- Differential Equations -
7 April Dimensionless numbers
Waves (part 1)
Professor away - Professor away -
14 April Instabilities
(parts 1 & 2)
(part 1)
- Mixing
(part 2)
21 April Convection Turbulence Mid-term

(at 10am)
Jets in
homogeneous fluids

(at 5pm)
28 April Buoyant
Thermals - Atmospheric
Boundary Layer
(part 1)
5 May Atmospheric
Boundary Layer
(part 2)
& Weather
- Rivers:
12 May Rivers:
Gradually varied
Gradually varied
- Rivers
Rapidly varied
19 May Rivers
Rapidly varied
Wetlands - Lakes
(part 1)
26 May Lakes
(part 2)
- - Final oral exams begin
2 June - Final oral exams end - - -