Determination of geostrophic flow by applying the principle of minimum energy and the inverse method

  • Zou Jiansheng
  • Yuan Yeli


This article gives a computing method to calculate the geostrophic current. The fact that kinetic energy of geostrophic motion and geostrophic potential energy reach minimum simultaneously. Fomins “principle of minimum kinetic energy” is equivalent to the principle of minimum geostrophic potential energy. We concluded that horizontal geostrophic velocities at different depths are along the same direction. Combining our method with C. Wunsch’s inverse method we can obtain the velocity components along and normal to the hydrographic sections. We used and analysed CTD and current meter data of “Experiment No. 3” exploration, December 1985–January 1986, in the west Pacific Ocean—Philippine area.


Station Pair Inverse Method Mass Conservation Equation Geostrophic Current Isopycnal Surface 
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Copyright information

© Science Press 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zou Jiansheng
    • 1
  • Yuan Yeli
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of OceanologyAcademia SinicaQingdaoChina

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