Vagn Walfrid Ekman

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Ekman, Vagn Walfrid


Born May 3, 1874, in Stockholm; died Mar. 9, 1954, in Göstad. Swedish geophysicist. Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Ekman studied at the University of Uppsala from 1893 to 1896 and at the University of Stockholm from 1896 to 1901. He was a professor at the University of Stockholm from 1910 to 1939.

Ekman’s main works dealt with physical oceanography. In 1905, he developed the theory of drift, or wind-driven, currents and gradient currents in the sea. Ekman discovered the rotation of the velocity vector of a current with depth; the theoretical representation of the current distribution is known as the Ekman spiral.


Kullenberg, B. “Vagn Walfrid Ekman, 1874–1954.” Journal du Consell permanent international pour I’exploration de la mer, 1954, vol. 20, no. 2.