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Ocean Dynamics pp 137-157 | Cite as

Geostrophic and Quasi-Geostrophic Motions

  • Dirk Olbers
  • Jürgen Willebrand
  • Carsten Eden
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, further approximations to the primitive equations derived in Section 4.2.5 are considered, which are valid for situations characterized by a small Rossby number. Geostrophic balance is assumed to dominate for lateral scales comparable to the Rossby radius – leading to the quasi-geostrophic approximation – or on scales comparable to Earth’s radius – the planetary geostrophic approximation. The latter set of equations can be reformulated for an explicit expression for the absolute velocity.

Keywords

Potential Vorticity Relative Vorticity Vertical Vorticity Geostrophic Balance Bernoulli Function 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften IFM-GEOMARKielGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Marine ScienceUniversity HamburgHamburgGermany

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