MAQ-10306 Introduction Atmosphere


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion4
Course coordinator(s)dr. LJM Kroon
Lecturer(s)dr. LJM Kroon
prof. dr. MC Krol
prof. dr. AAM Holtslag
Examiner(s)dr. LJM Kroon

Language of instruction:



This is an introductory course dedicated to the systems and cycles in the atmosphere, from the microscale to the global scale. They are treated both in a descriptive manner and in a quantitative manner based on physical and chemical principles. We start with the most important laws on thermodynamics, cloud physics, radiation, chemical transformations and dynamics. Next, we study the atmospheric systems from the global scale to the microscale. The important processes determining the exchange of gases, water vapour and momentum between the atmosphere and the earth's surface form the last step to various applications incorporating air quality problems. In the last part of the course we treat subjects such as climatology and methods of observing the atmosphere.

Learning outcomes:

After this course the student is expected to be able to:
- describe and explain the structure of weather systems on a broad range of time and length scales;
- compute the present and future state of quantities using the fundamental physical and chemical atmospheric processes treated in the course;
- formulate the exchange processes between the atmosphere and the earth's surface as well as be able to calculate the vertical fluxes of mass, momentum, heat and trace gases which these exchange processes describe;
- name, define and explain a number of air quality issues and their physical, chemical and biological background;
- identify and list the causes of climate, including the major cycles within it.


You are expected to study the theory using the syllabus, the powerpoint presentations on the website and the literature mentioned in the syllabus. A large number of practical exercises and questions has been compiled and can be found on the website. You are expected to solve a selection of these during the practical sessions.


A "closed book" exam containing essay questions and numerical exercises. A selection of the most important equations and a list of useful constants is supplied with each exam. Previous exams can be found on the website.


L.J.M.Kroon e.a. "Inleiding Atmosfeer" (in Dutch).

Compulsory for: BSWSoil, Water, AtmosphereBSc5AF
Compulsory for: WULEABSc Minor Living Earth5AF