gradient current

gradient current

[′grād·ē·ənt ‚kə·rənt]
(oceanography)
A current defined by assuming that the horizontal pressure gradient in the sea is balanced by the sum of the Coriolis and bottom frictional forces; at some distance from the bottom the effect of friction becomes negligible, and above this the gradient and geostrophic currents are equivalent. Also known as slope current.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.