What Causes Surface Currents?

What Causes Surface Currents?

Surface currents in the ocean are driven by global wind systems that are fueled by energy from the sun. … Currents may also be caused by density differences in water masses due to temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline) variations via a process known as thermohaline circulation.Surface currents in the ocean are driven by global wind systems that are fueled by energy from the sun. … Currents may also be caused by density differences in water masses due to temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline) variations via a process known as thermohaline circulation

thermohaline circulation
Thermohaline circulation begins in the Earth’s polar regions. When ocean water in these areas gets very cold sea ice forms. … These deep-ocean currents are driven by differences in the water’s density which is controlled by temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline). This process is known as thermohaline circulation.
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Thermohaline Circulation – Currents


What are 3 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.

What 4 factors create surface currents?

The different types of currents (referred to as surface or thermohaline depending on their depth) are created by among other things wind water density the topography of the ocean floor and the coriolis effect.

What is a surface current?

Surface currents are currents that are located in the upper 1 300 feet of the ocean as opposed to deep in the ocean.

What causes waves and surface currents?

Surface Currents. At the surface currents are mainly driven by four factors—wind the Sun’s radiation gravity and Earth’s rotation. All of these factors are interconnected. The Sun’s radiation creates prevailing wind patterns which push ocean water to bunch in hills and valleys.

What are the main surface currents?

Global Wind Currents
  • trade winds: east to west between the equator and 30 degrees North and 30 degrees South.
  • westerlies: west to east in the middle latitudes.
  • polar easterlies: east to west between 50 degrees and 60 degrees north and south of the equator and the north and south pole.

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What causes wind?

Wind is the movement of air caused by the uneven heating of the Earth by the sun. … Warm equatorial air rises higher into the atmosphere and migrates toward the poles. This is a low-pressure system. At the same time cooler denser air moves over Earth’s surface toward the Equator to replace the heated air.

How do the causes of surface and deepwater currents differ?

Surface currents are caused by wind deepwater currents are caused by differences in water density.

What are the reasons responsible for the formation of deep ocean currents?

Deep ocean currents are driven by density and temperature gradients. … Because the movement of deep water inocean basins is caused by density-driven forces and gravity deep waters sink into deep ocean basins at high latitudes where the temperatures are cold enough to cause the density to increase.

What are the factors that causes and influence the direction of ocean currents?

Winds water density and tides all drive ocean currents. Coastal and sea floor features influence their location direction and speed. Earth’s rotation results in the Coriolis effect which also influences ocean currents.

What are the effects of surface currents?

The heat travels in surface currents to higher latitudes. A current that brings warmth into a high latitude region will make that region’s climate less chilly. Surface ocean currents can create eddies swirling loops of water as they flow. Surface ocean currents can also affect upwelling in many places.

What has the greatest effect on surface currents?

the Moon’s gravity because the tides control the surface currents. the seafloor features because the surrounding seafloor determines the surface currents. the differences in salinity because water moving from larger to smaller levels of salinity causes surface currents.

What is an example of a surface current?

Two examples are the California Current (Cal) in the Pacific ocean basin and the Canary Current (Can) in the Atlantic ocean basin. The North Equatorial Current (NE) and the South Equatorial Current (SE) flow in the same direction. The SE turns south and behaves the opposite of the gyres in the Northern Hemisphere.

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What causes surface currents quizlet?

What causes surface currents to move? It is caused by wind action Earth’s spin and the shape of the continents. Also the speed direction and volume of water can be affected by the uneven heating of the atmosphere.

What causes wave?

Waves are most commonly caused by wind. Wind-driven waves or surface waves are created by the friction between wind and surface water. As wind blows across the surface of the ocean or a lake the continual disturbance creates a wave crest. … The gravitational pull of the sun and moon on the earth also causes waves.

What causes swells in the ocean?

A swell in the ocean is formed through a combination of wind strength wind duration and fetch. … As wind blows across the water’s surface friction occurs and energy is transferred from wind to water. The result is a rising crest that forms into a wave.

How do winds cause surface currents?

In the Northern Hemisphere for example predictable winds called trade winds blow from east to west just above the equator. The winds pull surface water with them creating currents. As these currents flow westward the Coriolis effect—a force that results from the rotation of the Earth—deflects them.

What causes deep water currents to surface?

Deep currents are driven by temperature and water density/salinity. Of course deep currents impact surface currents which carry warm water to the poles. Surface currents are also driven by global wind systems fueled by energy from the sun. Factors like wind direction and the Coriolis effect play a role.

What causes the Coriolis effect?

The Coriolis effect is a natural event in which objects seem to get deflected while traveling around and above Earth. The planet Earth is constantly rotating or spinning from west to east. Every 24 hours it completes a full rotation. This rotation causes the Coriolis effect.

What is air made of?

Standard Dry Air is made up of nitrogen oxygen argon carbon dioxide neon helium krypton hydrogen and xenon. It does not include water vapor because the amount of vapor changes based on humidity and temperature. Because air masses are constantly moving Standard Dry Air is not accurate everywhere at once.

What is the moving air called?


Air is constantly moving around the earth. This moving air is called wind. Winds are created when there are differences in air pressure from one area to another.

Where is the horse latitude?

about 30 degrees north
The horse latitudes are subtropical regions known for calm winds and little precipitation. The horse latitudes are regions located at about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. These latitudes are characterized by calm winds and little precipitation.Feb 26 2021

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What causes convection currents to form in the ocean?

The sun causes uneven heating which leads to differences in air pressure. This causes wind which moves the water at the surface of the ocean. … Uneven heating causes density differences in the water which causes convection currents.

What is the difference between a current and a surface current?

A current is a stream of moving water that flows through the ocean. Surface currents are caused mainly by winds but not daily winds. Surface currents are caused by the major wind belts. These winds blow in the same direction all the time.

What are 2 ways surface currents are different from thermohaline currents?

Surface ocean currents are primarily driven by winds. Deep ocean currents on the other hand are mainly a result of density differences. The thermohaline circulation often referred to as the ocean’s “conveyor belt” links major surface and deep water currents in the Atlantic Indian Pacific and Southern Oceans.

What are the reasons responsible for formation of deep ocean currents Class 8?

The difference in temperatures of various parts of the ocean is the major reason behind the deep-sea currents. Warm water has lower salinity and density. Such water comes to the surface of the sea. Cold water with high density goes down.

What is the sequence that produces movement of ocean water?

Seawater motions are the result of waves tides and currents (Figure below). Ocean movements are the consequence of many separate factors: wind tides Coriolis effect water density differences and the shape of the ocean basins.

What happens when warm and cold ocean currents meet?

This is because air above the warm currents is warm which contains water vapour. When this warm current meet the cold current the air above the cold current causes the water vapour of the warm current to condense into tiny particles which form fog.

What is one factor that causes ocean currents?

Ocean currents are driven by wind water density differences and tides.

What causes ocean currents quizlet?

A directional movement of ocean water surface currents result from steady winds over the ocean surface deep ocean currents result from density variations due to temperature and salinity differences.

How do ocean currents work? – Jennifer Verduin

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