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geostrophic current


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An ocean current that is the product of a balance between pressure-gradient forces and the Coriolis effect. This produces a current flow parallel to the pressure gradient. All the major currents in the oceans are very nearly true geostrophic currents. The Gulf Stream, for example, can be likened to a river that does not run down a hill but around the hill.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography — Ecology and Conservation.


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