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Help: Volume Fluxes and Associated Velocities

  1. Sep 28, 2014 #1
    Suppose that volume transport of an ocean current is 50 x 10^6 m^3/s. Assume that this volume transport is carried in a current of uniform speed which is 50 km wide and 1 km thick. What is the average velocity of the current?

    Suppose that the velocity of a current is 0.2 m/s. Assume that the width and thickness of the current are 50 km and 0.5 km respectively. What is the volume transport associated with this current, in m^3/s?
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  3. Sep 28, 2014 #2


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  4. Sep 28, 2014 #3
    The issue is that I am having a difficult time getting started. I know that velocity is the derivative of speed (or a position with relation to time). I also know that volume transport refers to a mass of water (or water parcel) moving through an area per unit time. What I cannot resolve, is how to relate these variables in order to come up with a formula. The question comes from my graduate level physical oceanography course; I am a transplant to the department (geologist by training). Any help at all would be greatly appreciated? Is my grasp on these terms correct?
  5. Sep 28, 2014 #4


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    Follow the homework layout and post in the correct forum.

    Forget about mass, your question is only about volume.

    This is the only equation you need:

    Q = vA
    (volumetric flow rate = velocity * area)
  6. Sep 28, 2014 #5
    Thank you for your help. I will try moving forward with this equation.
  7. Sep 28, 2014 #6
    Rearranging the equation Q = v*A to solve for velocity yields the following equation: v = Q/A

    Plugging in the numbers we get: v = (50 x 10^6 m^3 s^-1) / (50,000,000 m^2) ...I have converted km to meters at this point

    The answer then, is 1 meter/second.

    I am not sure of this answer, as this is a graduate level course. The math is not wrong, though; is my approach?
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