The Coriolis effect applications

The Coriolis effect is a force provoked by the rotation of the Earth in space, that deviates the trajectory of the objects that are thrown in a straight line through the Earth’s surface. It can seem that knowing the existence of this phenomenon isn’t very useful, but it helps us to understand how hurricanes are formed and to know about some phenomenons of nature. The applications of the Coriolis effect that we use in our everyday life are several and they can useful.

Understand some phenomenons

As I have said previously, know about the existence of the Coriolis effect helps us to understand some phenomenons of the nature:

  • In the ocean, the Coriolis effect makes the marine currents not go parallel to the wind, but it makes them make an angle with this last one.
  • The Coriolis effect also affects the movement of the icebergs, directing their trajectory in a direction or towards another depending on the hemisphere where they are. In the North hemisphere they are directed to the right, and in the South hemisphere to the left.
  • In the atmosphere, the Coriolis effect affects the formation of clouds and winds, creating storms. It is for this reason that we know where there are more probabilities where hurricanes can be formed.
  • The Coriolis effect also acts onto the mass flow meter. It is a device that measures the maximum flow of a liquid, creating a force into its tube that is perpendicular to the two directions. This allows us to measure the vibration and the direction of the current.

Likewise, the Coriolis effect with the tornados and hurricanes. Thanks 7to some calculations and a little knowledge about the Coriolis effect, we can foretell the trajectory of hurricanes. As with the icebergs, in the North hemisphere they will direct towards the right, and in the South hemisphere to the left. Thanks to that we can foresee the trajectory of these meteorological phenomenons, we can advise the affected population, or, if it is needed, evacuate the area through which the hurricane will go through.

It is important to mention that in the Equator the Coriolis effect doesn’t make effect. In the maps where the tornados, hurricanes and storms of the last years are registered, we observe that there are only tornados over 300 km from the Equator’s line.

The fields where we use this force

The applications of the Coriolis effect are used in many scientific fields, but in those that it is more used is in the meteorological and oceanography fields.

In the field of meteorology, it is mainly applied to hurricanes or storms. Thanks to the Coriolis effect, we can foresee where there is more risk of hurricanes taking place. Once they have been formed, we also use it to know the trajectory it will take.

In the oceanography field, we apply it to know the directions of the marine currents, which, as I’ve said before, make an angle with the wind instead of going parallelly with it.

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