Transverse Flow in a River Due to Earth's Rotation

by Hans A. Neu,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 5, Pg. 149-166

Document Type: Journal Paper


Transverse circulation due to the earth's rotation in straight uniform channels with turbulent flow was investigated and evaluated. No previous direct measurements are known. This lack of evidence was the main reason for the uncertainty which prevailed regarding its existence and significance. The measurement is reported of a transverse circulation in a straight section of the St. Lawrence River, which is concluded to be created chiefly by the rotation of the earth. The results are judged to be both qualitatively and quantitatively in agreement with the theory which is similar to that for transverse circulation in bends. The analysis demonstrates that the intensity of the circulation relative to the axial flow depends, not only on the latitude, but primarily on the numerical value of the ratio of depth to the mean current velocity.

Subject Headings: River flow | Streamflow | Rotation | Water circulation | Channel flow | Turbulent flow | Numerical analysis | Uncertainty principles

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