Density current

From Glossary of Meteorology

density current

The intrusion of a denser fluid beneath a lighter fluid, due mainly to the hydrostatic forces arising from gravity and the density differences.

This term is used principally in engineering for such cases as the intrusion of saltwater below freshwater in an estuary, or for currents caused by the presence of denser water with suspended silt at the bottom of a lake or ocean. Many of the phenomena are quite analogous to some of those associated with cold fronts in the atmosphere.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact [email protected]. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.