Ekman number

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Ekman number

A dimensionless number relating the ratio of eddy viscous forces to Coriolis forces.

Explicitly, the vertical Ekman number is
ams2001glos-Ee14
in which Kv is the vertical eddy viscosity, f the Coriolis parameter, and D the characteristic vertical length scale. The horizontal Ekman number is
ams2001glos-Ee15
in which Kh is the horizontal eddy viscosity and L is the characteristic horizontal length scale. The Ekman number gives a measure of the rate at which stresses at a boundary (e.g., wind-induced stresses at the ocean surface) are communicated to the fluid interior.

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