Equation of continuity

From Glossary of Meteorology



equation of continuity

(Or continuity equation.) A hydrodynamical equation that expresses the principle of the conservation of mass in a fluid.

It equates the increase in mass in a hypothetical fluid volume to the net flow of mass into the volume. The equation of continuity is usually written in either of two forms:
ams2001glos-Ee33
or
ams2001glos-Ee34
where ρ is the fluid density and u the velocity vector. Under the quasi-static approximation with pressure as vertical coordinate, the equation takes the form
ams2001glos-Ee35
where p is the pressure, v is the horizontal velocity, ω = Dp/Dt the vertical p velocity, and p the del operator in the isobaric surface.


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