Barotropic describes a hypothetical atmosphere or ocean in which surfaces of pressure (isobaric surfaces) and density (isentropic surfaces) coincide at all levels, as compared to baroclinic flow. In a state of barotropic stratification, no potential energy is available for conversion to kinetic energy.
A barotropic flow is a generalization of the barotropic atmosphere; moreover, barotropic flow is a flow regime in which the pressure is a function of the density. Barotropic flow, in oceanography, is depth-independent circulation due to changes in surface elevation.
- James R Holton, An introduction to dynamic meteorology, , 3rd edition, p77.
- Marcel Lesieur, Turbulence in Fluids: Stochastic and Numerical Modeling,
- D. J. Tritton, Physical Fluid Dynamics, .
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