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The geoid is the shape that the surface of the oceans would take under the influence of Earth's gravitation and rotation alone, in the absence of other influences such as winds and tides. This surface is extended through the continents (such as with very narrow hypothetical canals). All points on the geoid have the same gravity potential energy (the sum of gravitational potential energy and centrifugal potential energy). The force of gravity acts everywhere perpendicular to the geoid, meaning that plumb lines point perpendicular and water levels parallel to the geoid.
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