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Coriolis acceleration at the surface of a region in the ocean

  1. Jun 26, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hello everyone,
    I am having some problems with a question about the coriolis acceleration in a particular region. Attached is an image showing velocity measurements going in a circular motion at the surface of the ocean. A to B is 200 km and the fastest velocity is .5 m/s. The center is located at 30 degrees N. I am asked to make vectors of coriolis acceleration at the small circles, which I am assuming would go to the right of each one. I am also asked to sketch the magnitude of the coriolis acceleration as a function of x along the line from A to B. X is the distance from the center of the figure along the line AB. It is also asked to sketch the x (eastward) and y (northward) component of the coriolis acceleration. I am really stumped on these last two things and any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2013 #2


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    welcome to pf!

    hello hamilbr! welcome to pf! :smile:

    i don't understand how far you've got, and where you're stuck :confused:

    what equation are you using for the definition of Coriolis force?

    what result does it give you for a typical point (x,y) in the diagram?
  4. Jul 3, 2013 #3
    coriolis acceleration at the ocean surface

    Hi Tiny-tim,

    I am assuming I use (2 omega V sin latitude) for coriolis acceleration. I am just confused about sketching the magnitude of the acceleration as a function of x along the line from A to B where y=0. Would that mean that I start at the center and go out to 100 Km since that would be the radius? I am sure I am thinking too much and it is probably a fairly simple sketch. All the info I was given is in that first post so I feel like I am missing something.
  5. Jul 3, 2013 #4


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    hi hamilbr! :smile:
    let's see …

    the velocity, V, from A to B is either due north or due south

    so to get the graph of the magnitude of the coriolis acceleration from A to B, plot the value of 2ΩV|sinθ|, where θ is the angle between the earth's axis and due north, along the y-axis, against distance from -100 to 100 along the x-axis :wink:
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