This is really Laplace's subject in his Dynamical Theory of the Tides; where it is dealt with in its utmost generality except one important restriction,—the motion of each particle to be infinitely nearly horizontal, and the velocity to be always. equal for all particles in the same vertical. This implies that the greatest depth must be small in comparison with the distance that has to be travelled to find the deviation from levelness of the water-surface altered by a sensible fraction of its maximum amount. In the present short communication I adopt this restriction; and farther, instead of supposing the water to cover the whole or a large part of the surface of a solid spheroid as does Laplace, I take the simpler problem of an area of water so small that the equilibrium-figure of its surface is not sensibly curved.
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