Ocean currents
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Ocean Currents. T he steady flow of ocean water in a prevailing direction. Ocean Currents. D riven by several factors Tides Wind Thermohaline circulation. Tidal Currents. Occur with the rise and fall of the tides Near the shore Bays Estuaries. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/.

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Ocean Currents

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Ocean currents

Ocean Currents

The steady flow of ocean water in a prevailing direction


Ocean currents1

Ocean Currents

  • Driven by several factors

    • Tides

    • Wind

    • Thermohaline circulation


Tidal currents

Tidal Currents

  • Occur with the rise and fall of the tides

    • Near the shore

    • Bays

    • Estuaries

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/


Coastal currents

Coastal Currents

  • Depend on

    • Winds

    • Waves

    • Land formations


Coastal currents1

Coastal Currents

  • Winds that blow along the shoreline—longshore winds—affect waves and, therefore, currents

    • Longshore currents are generated when a wave train reaches the coastline and release bursts of energy

    • May form rip currents (not rip tides) - a localized current that flows away from the shoreline toward the ocean

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/


Surface currents

Surface Currents

  • Occur on the open ocean

  • Driven by a complex global wind system


Surface currents c oriolis effect

Surface Currents – Coriolis Effect

  • Due to Earth’s rotation

    • The Earth rotates faster at the Equator than it does at the poles

      • Earth is wider at the Equator; point on the Equator has farther to travel in a day

        http://www.classzone.com/books/earth_science/terc/content/visualizations/es1904/es1904page01.cfm

        http://www2.palomar.edu/users/pdeen/Animations/34_Coriolis.swf


Surface currents coriolis effect

Surface Currents – Coriolis Effect

  • Circulating air or wind is deflected by the Coriolis Effect

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/


Surface currents1

Surface Currents

  • Global winds drag on the water’s surface

    • Caused movement in the direction that the wind is blowing

    • Results in the deflection of surface ocean currents to the right in the Northern Hemisphere (in a clockwise spiral) and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere (in a counter-clockwise spiral)

    • Called gyres

      • Occur north and south of the equator

      • Not at the equator

        • Coriolis effect is not present


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