Journal article

Some aspects of the work of V.W. Ekman

AD Jenkins, JAT Bye

POLAR RECORD | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2006

Abstract

The climatic conditions in the Arctic, and observations of the wind-induced drift of ice made in connexion with Fridtjof Nansen's Fram expedition, led to the discovery 100 years ago by Vilhelm Bjerknes's pupil, V.W. Ekman, of the importance of the Earth's rotation in limiting the depth of the wind-induced shear current in the ocean. This essay commemorates the centenary of Ekman's seminal paper, which was published in 1905. The paper presents a concise summary of Ekman's contributions to physical oceanography and a brief review of their continuing impact. The two key concepts are the Ekman spiral (the helical rotation of the velocity vector, in atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers) and th..

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