Diffusive equilibrium

From Glossary of Meteorology



diffusive equilibrium

The steady state resulting from the diffusion process, also known as gravitational equilibrium.

In such a state the constituent gases of the atmosphere would be distributed independently of each other, the heavier decreasing more rapidly with height than the lighter. However, the occurrence of turbulent mixing precludes establishment of diffusive equilibrium.
See isothermal equilibrium.


Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact permissions@ametsoc.org. 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.