Coriolis Force – The Ferrel's Law

This article discusses about Coriolis Force and the Ferrel's law.

Geography is full of terms and phrases which you will find really tough to understand sometimes. Such a sophisticated term is the Coriolis Force. This term is sometimes tough for the teachers also to understand. Let me have the pleasure to explain to you in brief what is meant by Coriolis Force.

The earth revolves at its axis from west to east. I am sure that you would know this. When you compare the total length of the latitudes, then the equator proves to be the biggest latitude when compared to other latitudes. This latitude is the 0 degree latitude. When the earth moves, the biggest speed of movement is on the equator, and the speed decreases as you move towards the poles. This is because the time taken for covering one complete revolution is same for all the latitude, but since the distance is highest on the equator so by the distance – time concept, the speed becomes the highest on the equator.

So just imagine what happens when you move your hands very speedily in a bucket full of water. Notice the way the water revolves. When the earth revolves then any fluid on the earth deflects from the direction. Given below is a figure which is showing the direction of the trade winds of the earth. There are two earths with a remark below each of them. If the earth would not have been in any movement, which is in any rotation from the west direction to the east, then the trade winds would have reached straight to the latitudes, towards the equator, but since earth is in constant motion, this is not possible at all. Because of the constant rotation of the earth, all the fluids on earth, which are not fixed with the earth, like the winds, and the whole atmosphere, experiences a deflection in their direction of motion.

The trade winds, and all other fluids which are not fixed with the earth deflect to their left in the southern hemisphere and they deflect in the right direction in the northern hemisphere. The above given figures will clear the concept. This deflection of all the unfixed fluids towards left in the southern hemisphere and to their right in the southern hemisphere is known as the coriolis force which is caused by the apparent movement of the earth on its axis from the west direction to east.

This law was made by a geologist Ferrell, so the coriolis force is also called the Ferrel’s Law

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Guest Author: rohith13 Aug 2015

Then who is Gustav de Corioli? Can you elaborate?

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