Which Factors Influence The Ocean Currents?

What are the two main factors that influence 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 3 main factors driving ocean currents?

Oceanic currents are driven by three main factors:The rise and fall of the tides. Tides create a current in the oceans, which are strongest near the shore, and in bays and estuaries along the coast. … Wind. Winds drive currents that are at or near the ocean’s surface. … Thermohaline circulation.

Where are the strongest ocean currents?

Antarctic Circumpolar CurrentThe Antarctic Circumpolar Current is the strongest current system in the world oceans and the only ocean current linking all major oceans: the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Why is ocean water salty?

Salt in the ocean comes from two sources: runoff from the land and openings in the seafloor. Rocks on land are the major source of salts dissolved in seawater. Rainwater that falls on land is slightly acidic, so it erodes rocks. … Ocean water seeps into cracks in the seafloor and is heated by magma from the Earth’s core.

How do ocean currents affect weather?

Ocean currents act as conveyer belts of warm and cold water, sending heat toward the polar regions and helping tropical areas cool off, thus influencing both weather and climate. … Land areas also absorb some sunlight, and the atmosphere helps to retain heat that would otherwise quickly radiate into space after sunset.

What are the two types of currents?

Direct and Alternating Current There are two different types of current in widespread use today. They are direct current, abbreviated DC, and alternating current, abbreviated AC. In a direct current, the electrons flow in one direction.

What is the biggest ocean current?

Antarctic Circumpolar CurrentThe Antarctic Circumpolar Current is the only ocean current to circle the planet and the largest wind-driven current on Earth.

What are the four factors that influence ocean currents?

The ocean has an interconnected current, or circulation, system powered by wind, tides, the Earth’s rotation (Coriolis effect), the sun (solar energy), and water density differences. The topography and shape of ocean basins and nearby landmasses also influence ocean currents.

What is the strongest current?

Current. Saltstraumen has one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. Up to 400 million cubic metres (110 billion US gallons) of seawater forces its way through a 3-kilometre (1.9 mi) long and 150-metre (490 ft) wide strait every six hours.

What is another name for ocean currents?

What is another word for ocean current?currentdeep currentmarine currentocean circulationthermohaline circulation

How does temperature affect ocean currents?

Water expands when it warms up – heat energy makes its molecules move around more and take up more space. … When water cools, it contracts and becomes denser. Temperature and salinity both affect the density of water, resulting in water moving up or down through the ocean layers and moving as currents around the ocean.

How do the ocean currents work?

Ocean currents are driven by a range of sources: the wind, tides, changes in water density, and the rotation of the Earth. The topography of the ocean floor and the shoreline modifies those motions, causing currents to speed up, slow down, or change direction.

What are the fastest and deepest ocean currents?

Generally the fastest and deepest ocean currents are: western boundary currents. The Canary Current is an example of a(n): shallow, cold water current.

What is the largest whirlpool in the world?

The World’s Largest WhirlpoolsCorryvreckan. The Gulf of Corryvreckan is a strait located between Jura and Scarba islands, Scotland. … Naruto Whirlpools. … Old Sow. … Skookumchuck Narrows. … Moskstraumen. … Saltstraumen.

What factors cause deep ocean currents?

In these areas, the balance between gravity and Earth’s spin causes geostrophic currents to flow. Deep ocean currents are caused by differences in water temperature and salinity (density).

What are the 3 types of ocean currents?

Types of Water CurrentsSurface Currents. Surface currents occur in the upper 400 meters of the ocean. … Deep Water Currents. Deep water currents make up 90 percent of the ocean currents. … Why Currents Are Important.

What are two types of ocean currents?

There are many types of currents such as those driven by salinity, wind, temperature or the Coriolis effect. Two of the most commonly identified are surface currents and deep ocean currents. Surface currents are driven by winds, are fast and make up 10% of the world’s oceans.

What are the 5 major ocean currents?

There are five main gyres: the North and South Pacific Subtropical Gyres, the North and South Atlantic Subtropical Gyres, and the Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre.

How fast do ocean currents move?

The velocity of the current is fastest near the surface, with the maximum speed typically about 5.6 miles per hour (nine kilometers per hour). The average speed of the Gulf Stream, however, is four miles per hour (6.4 kilometers per hour).

Do ocean currents change direction?

As wind or an ocean current moves, the Earth spins underneath it. … The Coriolis effect bends the direction of surface currents to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and left in the Southern Hemisphere. The Coriolis effect causes winds and currents to form circular patterns.

What are some examples of ocean currents?

Cold currents flow toward the equator on the eastern side of ocean basins. Examples of cold ocean currents include the Canary Current in the North Atlantic, the California Current in the North Pacific, and the Benguela Current in the South Atlantic.

What affects surface ocean currents?

The water at the ocean surface is moved primarily by winds that blow in certain patterns because of the Earth’s spin and the Coriolis Effect. Winds are able to move the top 400 meters of the ocean creating surface ocean currents. Surface ocean currents form large circular patterns called gyres.