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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Water Finds Its Level - Ocean surface topography reveals ocean floor topography

You'll see a lot of Flat Earth memes that talk about 'Water finds its level"



There are hundreds of projects where they use radar altimetry to measure the ocean surface very accurately and this surface, in turn, reveals the shape of the ocean floor. This works because the shape (or topography) of the ocean floor means the gravitational pull is different in that area because of changes in the density -- this is then reflected in the shape of the surface of the water.

Scale is exaggerated
Image credit: NOAA: Datums, Heights, and Geodesy
So water does indeed fine its level - but that "level" is defined by the spherical gravity of the Earth and all the micro variations therein - and we can measure them and verify those measurements by comparing them with other methods of measuring the ocean floor topography.

This map of the ocean floor is one such result of mapping the ocean surface topography:

Image credit: NOAA

And

Image credit: global marine gravity model from CryoSat-2 and Jason-1
So, sorry Flat Earthers...


But it is EXACTLY like that -- except you didn't correctly compute the gravitational influence so the surface has tiny undulations that mirror the ocean floor.

Here is more water 'finding its level' - as you can see, water is perfectly happy to form a spheroid.  Attempts to replicate this 6 feet from the Earth under the full influence of Earth's gravity are the very definition of disingenuousness.

Rotating Sphere of Water in Microgravity

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