Beta refraction

June 13, 2012, 6:38 pm

Beta refraction is an effect that results from the latitudinal variation of Rossby wave phase speed which is, in turn, due to the beta effect. If a line of Rossby waves were started along a straight eastern ocean boundary, then those at low latitudes would arrive at the western boundary before those at high latitudes.

This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to expand this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion.

Further Reading





Baum, S. (2012). Beta refraction. Retrieved from


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