Unit of measurement of the volumetric rate of transport of ocean currents / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In oceanography, the sverdrup (symbol: Sv) is a non-SI metric unit of volumetric flow rate, with 1 Sv equal to 1 million cubic metres per second (264,172,052 US gal/s).[1][2] It is equivalent to the SI derived unit cubic hectometer per second (symbol: hm3/s or hm3⋅s−1): 1 Sv is equal to 1 hm3/s. It is used almost exclusively in oceanography to measure the volumetric rate of transport of ocean currents. It is named after Harald Sverdrup.

Quick facts: Sverdrup, Unit of, Symbol, Conversions ...
Unit ofVolumetric flow rate
1 Sv in ...... is equal to ...
   m3/s   1 million
   US gallons/s   264 million
   cu ft/s   35 million

One sverdrup is about five times what is carried by the world’s largest river, the Amazon. In the context of ocean currents, a volume of one million cubic meters may be imagined as a "slice" of ocean with dimensions 1 km × 1 km × 1 m (width × length × thickness). At this scale, these units can be more easily compared in terms of width of the current (several km), depth (hundreds of meters), and current speed (as meters per second). Thus, a hypothetical current 50 km wide, 500 m (0.5 km) deep, and moving at 2 m/s would be transporting 50 Sv of water.

The sverdrup is distinct from the SI sievert unit or the non-SI svedberg unit. All three use the same symbol. They are not related.