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My professor posed this question, without any relevant material. I suppose the currents last until the density gradient is neutralized, but I can't find any literature nor articles on this, regarding the time scale. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you talking about the theoretical/lecture perspective without friction etc. or a real application? In the case where only the pressure gradient balances the coriolis force, those flows can last indefinetly, because the flow is circular and therefore induces no mass-transport that would eliminate pressure gradients. $\endgroup$ Aug 27 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply! The question is, as far as I know, applied to real situations. I kept digging around and found that, for the Coriolis force to take non-neglectable effect, the spatial scale should be at least 100 km, then, using the space-time scale in oceanography and combining with average wind speeds, the duration of an average geostrophic currents is somewhere from a week to several months. Is this an acceptable estimate? $\endgroup$
    – a Ljeonjko
    Aug 27 at 14:20

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