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Homework Help: Coriolis force on a river

  1. Dec 10, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A river of width D flows Northward with speed v. Show that the water is lower at the west bank than at the east bank by approximately


    where w is the angular velocity of the earth and lamda the latitude.
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I get the difference in height as 2Dwvsin(lamda)cos(lamda)/sqrt(g^2 +(2wvsin(lamda)cos(lamda))^2)

    So if this was the same as my answer it would mean that cos(lamda)/sqrt(g^2 +(2wvsin(lamda)cos(lamda))^2) = 1/g

    Im just unsure how to prove this, it looks like a simple right angled triangle to show this by rearranging to show coslamda = sqrt(g^2 +(2wvsin(lamda)cos(lamda))^2)/g

    Does this look right guys?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2007 #2

    Shooting Star

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    Homework Helper

    Not really. You can't reduce your formula to the answer through any approximation that I can see. Why don't you just share your calculations with us?
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