Book Chapter

Non-rotating gravity currents

PG Baines

Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences | Elsevier | Published : 2019


Gravity currents (also known as “density currents”) in the ocean and atmosphere are flows of water (or air) that are principally due to differences in density (due to differing temperature and/or salinity) between neighboring fluid bodies. These density differences cause lateral pressure gradients that produce the horizontal motion. They may occur on length scales ranging from centimeters to hundreds of kilometers, and they have a characteristic structure that is described below. In the oceanic environment there are three main types, as follows. Firstly, gravity currents may move along the ocean bottom, with denser (colder or saltier) water moving under a lighter water mass. Secondly, a body..

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