The Swedish oceanographer Vagn Walfrid Ekman (1874-1954, see Figure 1) is best known for his work on shallow ocean circulation, especially his 1905 paper ‘On the influence of the Earth's rotation on ocean currents’. My paper examines Ekman's early work in its contemporary context, outlines his later work (after 1923) on horizontal circulation of ocean currents, and ends with a brief account of his contribution to oceanographic instruments, especially current meters.

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