Describe the major ocean surface current patterns and discuss what produces these patterns

Activity: Renewable Energy: Wind (pdf version of original activity.).Ocean current, stream made up of horizontal and vertical components of the circulation system of ocean waters that is produced by gravity, wind friction, and water density variation in different parts of the ocean.

El Niño and La Niña - river, sea, oceans, effects

The warmer water will cover the areas of upwelling, cutting off the flow of nutrients to the fish and animals that live in the eastern Pacific Ocean.The Gulf Stream is one current that presented these ancient mariners with many challenges.Such areas are devoid of nutrients and are poor in marine life.The ocean current pattern produced by the wind. occurring north of the current to the ocean surface.

Ocean Currents: Factors Influencing and General

The sinking of North Atlantic Deep Water is compensated for by the slow upwelling of deep water, mainly in the Southern Ocean, to replenish the upper stratum of water that has descended as North Atlantic Deep Water.Major ocean surface currents. knowledge of wind patterns and ocean currents was even more essential.The wind field reverses the flow within the surface layer, inducing the South Equatorial Current.Ocean currents are an important abiotic factor that significantly influences food webs and reproduction of marine organisms and the marine.This motion extends to a depth of about 100 metres in what is called the Ekman layer, after the Swedish oceanographer V.Surface ocean currents form large circular patterns called gyres. a surface current in the North Atlantic,.The general circulation of the oceans defines the average movement of seawater, which, like the atmosphere, follows a specific pattern.Between these massive currents are narrow eastward-flowing countercurrents.

Direct observations of subsurface currents are made by deploying current meters from bottom-anchored moorings and by setting out neutral buoyant instruments whose drift at depth is tracked acoustically.Trump Budget Plan Would Remove Ban on Wild Horse Sale and Slaughter.This causes a strong temperature gradient between the two different air masses and a jet stream results.Upwelling and downwelling also occur where the wind blows parallel to a coastline.The air then circulates back aloft towards the region above the surface high pressure near Ecuador and this becomes the Walker circulation.Surface water temperatures and sea level decrease in the west and increase in the east.

Upwelling and high productivity also are found along divergence zones at the Equator and around Antarctica.

Lab 5: It's All Connected: Global Circulation - SERC

The difference between current sea-surface temperatures and the normal.The current has caused so many shipwrecks around Cape Hatteras, a piece of land that juts out sharply from the east coast of North Carolina, that the area is called the graveyard of the Atlantic.

Climate and Weather - University of California, San Diego

This water, somewhat less dense than the overflow water from the Greenland and Norwegian seas, has been observed sinking to a depth of 3,000 metres (about 9,800 feet) within convective features referred to as chimneys.Along the east coast of Greenland is the southward-flowing cold East Greenland Current.

Vertical movements, often referred to as upwelling and downwelling, exhibit much lower speeds, amounting to only a few metres per month.A characteristic surface speed is about 5 to 50 cm (about 2 to 20 inches) per second.These density changes. set up the deep ocean current patterns.

Because Earth rotates from west to east about its axis, an observer in the Northern Hemisphere would notice a deflection of a moving body toward the right.The primary downwelling regions are in the subtropical ocean waters—e.g., the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic.By contrast the water in the western Pacific, near Indonesia, is relatively warm.Since the wind-driven circulation attenuates with increasing depth, an associated decrease of isobaric tilt with increasing depth is expected.The wind blowing over the sea surface transfers momentum to the water.

"The Oceans' Role in Climate." Earth - American Museum of

Learn about the ocean in motion and how ocean surface currents.Description: This activity shows how currents move through water using food coloring and hot and cold water.This frictional force at the sea surface (i.e., the wind stress) produces the wind-driven circulation.The Agulhas Current has a transport close to that of the Gulf Stream.Relationships to topics: Convection, General Circulation of the Atmosphere, Ocean Circulations.An apparent deflection of the path of the moving object would be seen.Winds circulate around the globe because of the rotation of the earth and the energy from the sun.The air sinks at this surface high pressure and is picked up by the strong trade winds to continue the cycle.

This article discusses metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues related to the practice and goals of modern.The Peru and Benguela currents draw water from this Antarctic current and, hence, are cold.H a colourless, odourless, tasteless, flammable gaseous substance that is the simplest member of the family of chemical elements.This cold water is especially nutrient-rich and is stocked with an abundance of large fish populations.These global wind. global winds form and drive the major ocean currents,.These current flow patterns are thought. and any current flowing in a conductor produces a. in that region of the surface, eddy currents can be.

This causes heavy precipitation to fall over the western tropical Pacific throughout the year.In the Southern Hemisphere the subpolar gyres are less defined.Geostrophic currents For most of the ocean volume away from the boundary layers, which have a characteristic thickness of 100 metres (about 330 feet), frictional forces are of minor importance, and the equation of motion for horizontal forces can be expressed as a simple balance of horizontal pressure gradient and Coriolis force.The ocean current pattern produced by the wind-induced Ekman transport is called the Sverdrup transport, after the Norwegian oceanographer H.U. Sverdrup, who formulated the basic theory in 1947.These dense water masses spread into the full extent of the ocean and gradually upwell to feed a slow return flow to the sinking regions.

Climate Variability Circulations General Circulation of the Atmosphere.Since the wind varies from place to place, so does the Ekman transport, forming convergence and divergence zones of surface water.In the Northern Hemisphere, the Coriolis force turns the winds to the right.The northward-flowing current off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula carries cold Antarctic coastal water into the circumpolar belt.The Gulf Stream is a strong, fast moving, warm ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program

In the tropics the great clockwise and counterclockwise gyres flow westward as the Pacific North and South Equatorial currents, Atlantic North and South Equatorial currents, and the Indian South Equatorial Current.If the fan blows steadily, the water at the side farthest from the fan will tend to pile up downwind.

Relationships to topics: Pressure, What Drives Weather, Coriolis Effect, General Circulation of the Atmosphere.It can be shown that the Coriolis force always acts perpendicular to motion.In the Southern Hemisphere the counterclockwise circulation of the gyres creates strong eastern boundary currents against the western coasts of continents, such as the Peru (Humboldt) Current off South America, the Benguela Current off western Africa, and the Western Australia Current.Causes of ocean currents The general circulation is governed by the equation of motion, one of the fundamental laws of mechanics developed by English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton that was applied to a continuous volume of water.Because of the alternating monsoon climate of the northern Indian Ocean, the current in the northern Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea alternates.Surface wind-driven currents generate upwelling currents in.

Ocean Stratification - Columbia University

In a homogeneous ocean, which would have a constant potential density, horizontal pressure differences are possible only if the sea surface is tilted.

On a nonrotating Earth, water would be accelerated by a horizontal pressure gradient and would flow from high to low pressure.

Density: Sea Water Mixing and Sinking (PDF) - Aquarius