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Ocean Circulation

CH. 9

Mass Flow of Ocean Water is driven by wind and gravity
2 main types of ocean currents surface currents and Thermohaline currents
Surface Currents affects 10 % of total volume of ocean water
Thermohaline currents depends on density differences from variations in temp and salinity... 90% of ocean volume
surface ocean currents that are driven by density differences in water masses combine to transport 2/3 of total heat transferred from the equator to the poles
100m/ 40 sec= 2.5 m/s
An amateur swimmer can swim 2- 2.5 mph 1 m/s
Surface Currents affect 10% of oceans water (400m)
Thermohaline currents affect 90% volume of water
the ocean is layered due to density differences caused by temperture and salinity
pynocline 18% region of rapid increase in density
Surface Zones 2% well mixed of waves and currents
Deep Zone stable density, 80 % of water
Geostrophic gyre an oceanwide circular current
Geostrophic is bounded by the continents, westerly winds and the trade winds
Geostrophic GYRES result from a balance of forces wind friction, Coriolis effect and pressure gradient effect
wind friction in direction of wind
Coriolis effect as for air currents
pressure gradient effect gravity opposing water "piling up" downwind
surface currents move at a 45 angle from the wind direction. to the right in N. Hemisphere and left in Southern
The net result is current flow at 45 to the wind direction theory is 90 but 45 in reality
Western Currents are fastest, deepest and most narrowest. ex: Gulf Stream moves 2 m/s
Eastern Currents are slowest, shallowest and wider. example is the canary current .5 m/s
linking the western and Eastern currents is known as transverse currents
transverse currents are steady blowing westerlies and trade windes, thus continually provides energy for the ocean currents
surface ocean currents affect weather and climate along with winds
surface ocean currents distribute tropical heat worldwide
warm water flows to higher latitudes, thus transfers heat to the air and cools
what is more important for warming? winds
vertical currents are induced by the wind at continental edges. ex: N Hemisphere
Interplay between ocean currents and atmospheric circulation is responsible for El Nino and La Nina events
Upwelling is deep oceans brings nutrients for fish
El Nino year lack of wind blowing west lets warm water flow east to arrive at Peru
El Nino is downwelling or upwelling downwelling.. poor fishys
Normal is when Warm water is in SW Pacific Normal years push waters west and develop a pool of the warmest water in the world
Normal Year (tropical pacific) upwelling
El Nino is when trade winds slow and warm water starts moving
consequences of El Nino warm water>> increased evaporation >> increased precipitation (rain) >> flooding and a ton of nasty stuff
El Nino lasts up how many years? 1
ENSO El Nino- Southern Oscillation
(enSO)Southern Oscillation periodic changes in atmospheric pressure in SW pacific
(ENso)El Nino is a movement of warm surface water in Peru and what is resulting from it? Weather
LA NINA rapid return to normal conditions. It is colder than normal events in Eastern Pacific
El Nino Returns at 3 to what intervals? 8
What percentage of the oceans water volume is affected in the Surface currents driven by wind? 10 percent
Denser water is usually colder and ? saltier
Two ways to form denser water Freeze sea water (Arctic, Antarctic) and evaporate seawater (mediterranean)
Freezing sea water is when the ice is pure water, so this leaves behind saltier water (brines)
Evaporating sea water is when the increase of salinity, thus, hot mediterranean
Distinctive water masses form under ice and may keep their identities for as long as 1600 years
Created by: 740667771