potential temperature

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1 The temperature that mantle material would have were it raised to a specified depth where it was subjected to lower pressure. Decompression lowers the temperature and the potential temperature determines the depth at which melting will occur.

2 The temperature a volume of water would have if it were raised to a specified level, usually the ocean surface.

3 The temperature a parcel of air would have if it were brought to the surface, warming at the dry adiabatic lapse rate.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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