Fr.: nombre de Richardson
A dimensionless number which is used according to the → Richardson criterion to describe the condition for the → stability of a flow in the presence of vertical density stratification. If the → shear flow is characterized by linear variation of velocity and density, with velocities and densities ranging from U1 to U2 and ρ1 to ρ2 (ρ2>ρ1), respectively, over a depth H, then the Richardson number is expressed as: Ri = (ρ2 - ρ1) gH / ρ0 (U1 - U2)2. If Ri < 0.25, somewhere in the flow turbulence is likely to occur. For Ri > 0.25 the flow is stable.
→ Richardson criterion; → number.