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Air Motions Geology 390 WSUV Dr. Robert M MacKay

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1st Law (Law of Inertia) Every object continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it. acceleration = 0.0 unless the objected is acted on by an unbalanced force

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Forces that influence the wind 1. Pressure Gradient Force 2. Coriolis Force 3. Friction On average Gravity nearly balances the vertical Pressure gradient (hydrostatic balance)

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Fig. 8-16, p. 203

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Pressure Gradient=P/dist

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Pressure Gradient

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Centrifugal force an (Apparent Force)

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Coriolis Force (apparent force due to Earths rotation)

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Coriolis Force Deflects air to right in NH & Left in SH Is always zero at the equator Increases with latitude Increases with wind speed Increases as planet rotation speed increase

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Coriolis Force

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Geostrophic Winds

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Geostrophic Balance The “Geostrophic wind” is flow in a straight line in which the pressure gradient force balances the Coriolis force. Lower Pressure.

Geostrophic Balance The “Geostrophic wind” is flow in a straight line in which the pressure gradient force balances the Coriolis force. Lower Pressure.

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