4. Ocean Current Notes

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4. Ocean Current Notes

  1. 1. Ocean currents:<br />
  2. 2. Current:<br /> Continuous and directed movement of ocean water<br />
  3. 3.
  4. 4. Two Types:<br /> Surface Currents<br /> Deep Water Currents<br />
  5. 5. Surface Currents:<br /> 10% of water in ocean<br /> The upper 400m of the ocean<br />
  6. 6. Deep water currents:<br /> 90% of water in ocean<br /> Waters move around the ocean basins by density differences<br /> Density differences a function of different temperatures and salinity<br />
  7. 7. Two Types of Forces:<br />Primary Forces: Start the water moving:<br />Solar Heating<br />Winds<br />Gravity<br />Coriolis Effect<br />Secondary Forces: Influence where the current goes<br />
  8. 8. Solar Heating:<br /> Causes water to expand<br /> Water is about 8 cm higher than middle latitudes, thus water wants to flow down slope<br />
  9. 9. Winds:<br /> Winds blowing on surface of the ocean push the water<br /> Water piles up in the direction the wind is blowing<br />
  10. 10. Gravity<br /> Will pull water “down the hill” when water mounds up<br />
  11. 11. Coriolis Effect:<br /> An inertial effect due to the spinning of the earth<br />When going towards pole you are coming from an area that is moving faster, thus the deflection with the direction of the Earth’s rotation<br />When going to the equator, the deflection goes against the spin of the Earth, due to the spin of the Earth<br />
  12. 12. Gyres:<br /> The effect of winds and Coriolis effect results in circular flows of water made of several currents<br />
  13. 13. Ekman Transport:<br /> Surface water is blown away by winds, dragging the water beneath it<br /> The deflection due to Coriolis Effect creates a spiral pattern and a net current to the right or left of win<br /> Results in upwelling<br />
  14. 14. Upwelling:<br /> Nutrient rich water from the deeper parts of the ocean rises to the surface to replace the water blown away<br />Animation:<br />
  15. 15. Deep Water circulation:<br /> Occur where the temperature is cold and relatively high in salinity<br />Thermohaline Circulation Thermo = heat, haline = salt<br />
  16. 16. Earth Conveyor Belt<br /> Salt rich, warm water is blown north by the Gulf Stream, where is cools and sinks<br /> This provides heat to the polar regions and nutrients everywhere<br />Possibly disrupted by global warming<br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Local Currents:<br /> formed by a combination of tides, winds, waves, and rivers/streams<br />Longshore currents and rip currents<br />
  19. 19. Longshore currents:<br /> When waves strike the shoreline at an oblique angle, causing resultant waves to move parallel with the shoreline<br />
  20. 20. Rip Currents:<br /> Formed when waves push the water in front of it sideways till it can find a path out to sea<br />

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