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In fluid dynamics, a secondary circulation is a weak circulation that plays a key maintenance role in sustaining a stronger primary circulation that contains most of the kinetic energy and inertia of a flow. For example, a tropical cyclone's primary winds are tangential (horizontally swirling), but their evolution and maintenance against friction involves an in-up-out flow that is important to its clouds and rain. On a planetary scale, Earth's winds are mostly east-west or zonal, but that flow is maintained against friction by the Coriolis force acting on a small north-south or meridional secondary circulation.
The terms zonal and meridional are used to describe directions on a globe.
In physics, the Coriolis force is an inertial or fictitious force that acts on objects that are in motion within a frame of reference that rotates with respect to an inertial frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the force acts to the left of the motion of the object. In one with anticlockwise rotation, the force acts to the right. Deflection of an object due to the Coriolis force is called the Coriolis effect. Though recognized previously by others, the mathematical expression for the Coriolis force appeared in an 1835 paper by French scientist Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis, in connection with the theory of water wheels. Early in the 20th century, the term Coriolis force began to be used in connection with meteorology.
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An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of sea water generated by a number of forces acting upon the water, including wind, the Coriolis effect, breaking waves, cabbeling, and temperature and salinity differences. Depth contours, shoreline configurations, and interactions with other currents influence a current's direction and strength. Ocean currents are primarily horizontal water movements.
Physical oceanography is the study of physical conditions and physical processes within the ocean, especially the motions and physical properties of ocean waters.
Thermohaline circulation (THC) is a part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes. The adjective thermohaline derives from thermo- referring to temperature and -haline referring to salt content, factors which together determine the density of sea water. Wind-driven surface currents travel polewards from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, cooling en route, and eventually sinking at high latitudes. This dense water then flows into the ocean basins. While the bulk of it upwells in the Southern Ocean, the oldest waters upwell in the North Pacific. Extensive mixing therefore takes place between the ocean basins, reducing differences between them and making the Earth's oceans a global system. The water in these circuits transport both energy and mass around the globe. As such, the state of the circulation has a large impact on the climate of the Earth.
Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air, and together with ocean circulation is the means by which thermal energy is redistributed on the surface of the Earth.
A high-pressure area, high, or anticyclone, is a region where the atmospheric pressure at the surface of the planet is greater than its surrounding environment.
The geostrophic wind is the theoretical wind that would result from an exact balance between the Coriolis force and the pressure gradient force. This condition is called geostrophic balance. The geostrophic wind is directed parallel to isobars. This balance seldom holds exactly in nature. The true wind almost always differs from the geostrophic wind due to other forces such as friction from the ground. Thus, the actual wind would equal the geostrophic wind only if there were no friction and the isobars were perfectly straight. Despite this, much of the atmosphere outside the tropics is close to geostrophic flow much of the time and it is a valuable first approximation. Geostrophic flow in air or water is a zero-frequency inertial wave.
In oceanography, a gyre is any large system of circulating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, determine the circulation patterns from the wind stress curl (torque).
The Walker circulation, also known as the Walker cell, is a conceptual model of the air flow in the tropics in the lower atmosphere (troposphere). According to this model, parcels of air follow a closed circulation in the zonal and vertical directions. This circulation, which is roughly consistent with observations, is caused by differences in heat distribution between ocean and land. It was discovered by Gilbert Walker. In addition to motions in the zonal and vertical direction the tropical atmosphere also has considerable motion in the meridional direction as part of, for example, the Hadley Circulation.
The Sverdrup balance, or Sverdrup relation, is a theoretical relationship between the wind stress exerted on the surface of the open ocean and the vertically integrated meridional (north-south) transport of ocean water.
A street canyon is a place where the street is flanked by buildings on both sides creating a canyon-like environment. Classic examples of these human-built canyons are made when streets separate dense blocks of structures, especially skyscrapers. These include the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Toronto's Financial District, the Canyon of Heroes in Manhattan and Hong Kong's Kowloon and Central districts.
Ekman transport, part of Ekman motion theory first investigated in 1902 by Vagn Walfrid Ekman. Winds are the main source of energy for ocean circulation, and Ekman Transport is a component of wind-driven ocean current.. Ekman transport occurs when ocean surface waters are influenced by the friction force acting on them via the wind. As the wind blows it casts a friction force on the ocean surface that drags the upper 10-100m of the water column with it.. However, due to the influence of the Coriolis effect, the ocean water moves at a 90° angle from the direction of the surface wind.. The direction of transport is dependent on the hemisphere: in the northern hemisphere, transport occurs at 90° clockwise from wind direction, while in the southern hemisphere it occurs at a 90° counterclockwise.. This phenomenon was first noted by Fridtjof Nansen, who recorded that ice transport appeared to occur at an angle to the wind direction during his Arctic expedition during the 1890s.. Ekman transport has significant impacts on the biogeochemical properties of the world’s oceans. This is because they lead to upwelling, downwelling in order to obey mass conservation laws. Mass conservation, in reference to Ekman transfer, requires that any water displaced within an area must be replenished, this can be done by either Ekman suction or Ekman pumping depending on wind patterns..
The Hadley cell, named after George Hadley, is a global scale tropical atmospheric circulation that features air rising near the Equator, flowing poleward at a height of 10 to 15 kilometers above the earth's surface, descending in the subtropics, and then returning equatorward near the surface. This circulation creates the trade winds, tropical rain-belts and hurricanes, subtropical deserts and the jet streams. Hadley cells are the low-altitude overtuning circulation that have air sinking at roughly zero to 30 degree latitude.
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain or squalls. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as "tropical cyclones" or "severe cyclonic storms".
In atmospheric science, balanced flow is an idealisation of atmospheric motion. The idealisation consists in considering the behaviour of one isolated parcel of air having constant density, its motion on a horizontal plane subject to selected forces acting on it and, finally, steady-state conditions.
In physical oceanography, Langmuir circulation consists of a series of shallow, slow, counter-rotating vortices at the ocean's surface aligned with the wind. These circulations are developed when wind blows steadily over the sea surface. Irving Langmuir discovered this phenomenon after observing windrows of seaweed in the Sargasso Sea in 1927. Langmuir circulations circulate within the mixed layer; however, it is not yet so clear how strongly they can cause mixing at the base of the mixed layer.
In fluid dynamics, a secondary flow is a relatively minor flow superimposed on the primary flow, where the primary flow usually matches very closely the flow pattern predicted using simple analytical techniques that assume the fluid is inviscid.
Boundary currents are ocean currents with dynamics determined by the presence of a coastline, and fall into two distinct categories: western boundary currents and eastern boundary currents.
The tea leaf paradox is a phenomenon where tea leaves in a cup of tea migrate to the center and bottom of the cup after being stirred rather than being forced to the edges of the cup, as would be expected in a spiral centrifuge. The correct physical explanation of the paradox was for the first time given by James Thomson in 1857. He correctly connected the appearance of secondary flow with ″friction on the bottom″. The formation of secondary flows in an annular channel was theoretically treated by Boussinesq as early as in 1868. The migration of near-bottom particles in river-bend flows was experimentally investigated by A. Ya. Milovich in 1913. The solution first came from Albert Einstein in a 1926 paper in which he explained the erosion of river banks, and repudiated Baer's law.
The process of a laminar flow becoming turbulent is known as laminar–turbulent transition. The main parameter characterizing transition is the Reynolds number.
A Field-tube boiler is a form of water-tube boiler where the water tubes are single-ended. The tubes are closed at one end, and they contain a concentric inner tube. Flow is thus separated into the colder inner flow down the tube and the heated flow upwards through the outer sleeve. As Field tubes are thus dependent on thermo-syphon flow within the tube, they must thus always have some vertical height to encourage the flow. In most designs they are mounted near-vertically, to encourage this.