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Ocean Currents.

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Presentation on theme: "Ocean Currents."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ocean Currents

2 Two Types of Currents Density Driven (deep water) Currents
Wind Driven (surface) Currents

3 Density Driven Currents
Move water vertically through the ocean Density differences cause deep water currents Dense water sinks at the poles Less dense water rises at the equator This process creates circulation throughout the oceans of the world

4 Surface Currents Winds are primary energy source for surface currents.
Winds blow across the ocean surface friction between the wind and the ocean surface drags the water along

5 Which way does the water flow?
Rotation of the earth changes path of air and water (Coriolis Effect) Water flows to the right (clockwise) in Northern Hemisphere

6 Northern Pacific Surface Currents
California Current Kuroshio Current North Equatorial Current Equator South Equatorial Current East Australian Current Peru Current West Wind Drift

7 Global Surface Currents
Most ocean currents have a dramatic impact on local weather and continental climate patterns Ex: Mediterranean climate zones

8 Surface Currents in the US
The California Current is cold and comes from Alaska The Gulf Stream is warm and comes from the equator/ Gulf of Mexico San Francisco Washington, DC

9 What is a gyre? A roughly circular pattern of ocean surface currents
Caused by the Coriolis Effect

10 North Pacific Gyre Equator

11 Why are gyres/ currents important?
Warm currents move heat from the equator to middle and high latitudes Gyres influence air temperature, weather and climate of every continent


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