Concept

Equatorial bulge

Summary
An equatorial bulge is a difference between the equatorial and polar diameters of a planet, due to the centrifugal force exerted by the rotation about the body's axis. A rotating body tends to form an oblate spheroid rather than a sphere. On Earth Earth ellipsoid The planet Earth has a rather slight equatorial bulge; its equatorial diameter is about greater than its polar diameter, with a difference of about of the equatorial diameter. If Earth were scaled down to a globe with an equatorial diameter of , that difference would be only . While too small to notice visually, that difference is still more than twice the largest deviations of the actual surface from the ellipsoid, including the tallest mountains and deepest oceanic trenches. Earth's rotation also affects the sea level, the imaginary surface used as a reference frame from which to measure altitudes. This surface coincides with the mean water surface level in oceans, and is extrapolated over land by taking int
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