Astrophysics (Index)About

baroclinicity

(measure of misalignment of fluid density and pressure)

Baroclinicity is a measure of the misalignment of the density of a fluid and its gradient of pressure. It is proportional to:

p × ∇ρ

i.e., the sine of the angle between the surfaces of constant pressure and constant density, and its value is zero they are aligned. Baroclinic instability is instability of an atmosphere of a rotating planet due to baroclinicity. It is the source of much weather phenomena such as cyclones, and also is considered a means by which protoplanetary disks affect planetary migration. A baroclinic atmosphere is an atmosphere where density depends upon both temperature and pressure whereas a barotropic atmosphere is one where density depends only upon pressure.


(fluid mechanics,migration,atmosphere,measure,weather)
Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroclinicity

Referenced by pages:
dynamical instability

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