Geopotential height

From Glossary of Meteorology

geopotential height

The height of a given point in the atmosphere in units proportional to the potential energy of unit mass (geopotential) at this height relative to sea level.

The relation, in SI units, between the geopotential height Z and the geometric height z is
where g is the acceleration of gravity and g0 is the globally averaged acceleration of gravity at sea level (g0 = 9.806 65 m s−2), so that the two heights are numerically interchangeable for most meteorological purposes. Also, one geopotential meter is equal to 0.98 dynamic meter.
See dynamic height.

Term edited 14 November 2017.

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