The barometer is attached to a horizontal, suspension arm by gimbal rings. The other end of thesuspension arm fits into a socket that is screwed on to the bulkhead. The suspension arm keeps thebarometer well away from the bulkhead and the gimbals allow the barometer to remain vertical duringrolling and pitching.An attachment called a Gold Slide (described later in this chapter) is fitted on all modern mercurybarometers for easy and quick correction of barometric readings.
easons why mercury is used in barometers
1) Mercury has a high relative density - 13.6. Therefore, a mercury barometer is less than one metre highwhereas a water barometer would have to be over 10 meters high.2) Mercury does not wet the glass surface as other liquids would.3) Mercury is easily visible.4) Mercury has a uniform coefficient of expansion so temperature correction can easily be appliedaccurately.5) Mercury cannot escape easily through the leather washer on top of the cistern during transportation of the barometer, owing to its high viscosity (thick nature), whereas water or other such liquids would spillout easily.6) Mercury has a low freezing point (about -39°C) and a very high boiling point (over 350°C) and hence issuitable for marine barometers.
Correction of barometric readings
For the sake of uniformity of climatic records and for forecasting purposes, all barometric readings shouldbe reduced to a common datum - sea level in latitude 45° with no error due to temperature. All barometricreadings should, therefore, be corrected for height, latitude, temperature and index error before makingentries in the Mate's Logbook, Weather Logbook or weather reports.(a)
eason for height correction:
As explained in chapter 1, atmospheric pressure decreases as heightincreases. The reading on the bridge will, therefore, be lower than the reading at sea level. Since we havethe reading on the bridge, but have to report the pressure at sea level, we have to
a correction forheight to the bridge reading at the rate of 1 millibar for every 10 metres above sea level. (b)
eason for latitude correction:
Since the earth'spolar radius is about 13 miles less than its equatorialradius, the gravitational force at the poles is greaterthan at the equator, One c.c. of mercury, therefore,weighs more at the poles than at the equator.If, for example, we assume that the pressure at theequator, at 45° latitude and also at the pole was thesame at a given instant, the height of the column of mercury at the pole would be less than that atlatitude 45° whereas the height of the column at theequator would be more than that at latitude 45°,although the actual atmospheric pressures wereequal. This means that the barometer readings inlatitudes higher than 45° need a plus correctionwhile those in latitudes lower than 45° need a minuscorrection to bring them to the uniform datum of 45° latitude. The rate of change is about 1 millibar forevery 12° of latitude.