A barotropic flow is a generalization of the barotropic atmosphere described above: It is a flow in which the pressure is a function of the density only and vice versa. In other words, it is a flow in which isobaric surfaces are isopycnic surfaces and vice versa. One may have a barotropic flow with a non-barotropic fluid, but a barotropic fluid must always follow a barotropic flow. Examples include barotropic layers of the oceans, an isothermal ideal gas or an isentropic ideal gas.
Barotropic fluids are also important idealized fluids in astrophysics, such as in the study of stellar interiors or of the interstellar medium. One common class of barotropic model used in astrophysics is a polytropic fluid. Typically, the barotropic assumption is not very realistic.
Barotropic Impacts of Surface Friction on Eddy Kinetic Energy and Momentum Fluxes: An Alternative to the Barotropic Governor
Oct 01, 2012; ABSTRACT As the surface drag is increased in a comprehensive general circulation model (GCM), the upper-level zonal winds...