The Ekman momentum approximation and its application
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In the boundary layer, the flow is basically an equilibrium of three forces: Coriolis, pressure gradient and frictional. This means that it is an Ekman flow while the basic flow in the free atmosphere is an equilibrium of two forces: Coriolis and pressure gradient, and is a geostrophic flow. Therefore, it is natural to try to modify the geostrophic momentum approximation in the free atmosphere to become an Ekman momentum approximation in the boundary layer. The physical explanation and foundation of the Ekman momentum approximation are discussed.
KeywordsAtmosphere Boundary Layer Pressure Gradient Basic Flow Physical Explanation
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