Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Ekman, Vagn Walfrid

water direction surface force

(1874–1954) Swedish oceanographer: explained the variation in direction of ocean currents with depth.

After graduation, Ekman worked at the International Laboratory for Oceanographic Research in Oslo for several years before returning to Sweden in 1908. He was appointed professor of mathematical physics at Lund in 1910. In the 1890s the Norwegian Arctic explorer had noted that the path of drifting sea ice did not follow the prevailing wind direction, but deviated about 45° to the right. In 1905 Ekman was able to explain this as an effect of the Coriolis force caused by the Earth’s rotation. He went on to describe the general motion of near-surface water as the result of the interaction between surface wind force, the Coriolis force and frictional effects between different water layers. Ekman flow thus accounts for situations in which near-surface water moves in the opposite direction to that at the surface, with the net water transport at right angles to the wind direction. The resulting variation of water velocity with depth is known as the Ekman spiral. An analogous situation exists in atmospheric flow.

El Mestizaje - THE COSMIC RACE, ENDURING RACISM: MESTIZAJE AS A POLARIZING SYMBOL, INTERCULTURALITY AND NORTH AMERICAN MESTIZAJE [next] [back] Eisner, Michael - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Michael Eisner, Social and Economic Impact

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or