Table of Contents
What is the importance of surface currents?
Surface currents are created by three things: global wind patterns, the rotation of the Earth, and the shape of the ocean basins. Surface currents are extremely important because they distribute heat around the planet and are a major factor influencing climate around the globe.
Why do currents move away from the equator?
Because the Earth’s equator is warmed by the most direct rays of the Sun, air at the equator is hotter than air further north or south. This means that objects on the equator move faster than objects further from the equator. While wind or an ocean current moves, the Earth is spinning underneath it.
Why are equatorial currents important?
The equatorial countercurrent plays an important role in the circulation of mass, heat, and salt in the tropical oceans. It provides one of the pathways through which warm surface water returns eastward after being transported westward in the South Equatorial Current.
Which one is the most important to surface currents?
The trade winds and the westerlies are the global wind belts that most directly affect the flow of surface currents. The Coriolis effect is also a major factor controlling surface currents. The Coriolis effect is the deflection of winds and ocean currents caused by Earth’s rotation.
What are the main surface currents?
Major surface ocean currents are the result of global wind patterns, Earth’s rotation, and the shape of the ocean basins. Major surface currents circle the oceans in five gyres. Local surface currents, like longshore and rip currents, move near shorelines.
What are the three causes of surface currents?
Surface currents are controlled by three factors: global winds, the Coriolis effect, and continental deflections. surface create surface currents in the ocean. Different winds cause currents to flow in different directions. objects from a straight path due to the Earth’s rotation.
Which months that the equatorial current is strongest?
The Atlantic NECC is unique among the equatorial currents in that basin because of its extreme seasonality. The maximum eastward flow is attained in late boreal summer and fall while the countercurrent is replaced by westward flow in late winter and spring.
What direction do the equatorial currents flow?
At the Equator the currents are for the most part directed toward the west, the North Equatorial Current… The Pacific North Equatorial Current is given a westward impetus by the Northeast Trade Winds (latitude 10°–25° N).
What are surface currents created by?
Surface currents in the ocean are driven by global wind systems that are fueled by energy from the sun. Patterns of surface currents are determined by wind direction, Coriolis forces from the Earth’s rotation, and the position of landforms that interact with the currents.
What are the characteristics of surface currents?
Surface ocean currents form large circular patterns called gyres. Gyres flow clockwise in Northern Hemisphere oceans and counterclockwise in Southern Hemisphere oceans because of the Coriolis Effect. creating surface ocean currents. Near the Earth’s poles, gyres tend to flow in the opposite direction.