Oceanography - Daniel Lipkie
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- A Coordinate System for a Non-Spherical Earth - Oblate Spheroidal
Oceanography texts note that the earth is not
a perfect sphere, that geopotential surfaces are not adequately
described using spherical coordinates and that oblate spheroidal
coordinates are more appropriate. They usually go on to state that
oblate spheroidal coordinates are based on an ellipse for the surface
of the earth and hyperbolas for marking latitude but do not give
details on how such a coordinate system is constructed from
arbitrary ellipses and hyperbolas.
In this document we provide some additional detail on how an oblate
spheroidal coordinate is constructed and how it may be applied to the
Written: April 23, 2001, last revised April 24, 2001
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Last Revised: April 24, 2001.