The effective density exerted by a circulating fluid against the formation that takes into account the pressure drop in the annulus above the point being considered. The ECD is calculated as: d + P/0.052*D, where d is the mud weight (ppg), P is the pressure drop in the annulus between depth D and surface (psi), and D is the true vertical depth (feet). The ECD is an important parameter in avoiding kicks and losses, particularly in wells that have a narrow window between the fracture gradient and pore-pressure gradient.