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Geography - World & Indian (Ocean currents):

Written By STPORTAL on Sunday, March 18, 2012 | 3:00 PM

Geography - World & Indian (Ocean currents):

An ocean current is any more or less permanent or continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earths oceans. The currents are generated from the forces acting upon the water like the earths rotation, the wind, the temperature and salinity differences and the gravitation of the moon.

Ocean currents can flow for thousands of kilometers. They are very important in determining the climates of the continents,especially those regions bordering on the ocean.

Surface ocean currents are generally wind driven and develop their typical clockwise spirals in the northern hemisphere and counter-clockwise rotation in the southern hemisphere because of the imposed wind stresses. In wind driven currents, the Ekman spiral effect results in the currents flowing at an angle to the driving winds. The areas of surface ocean currents move somewhat with the seasons; this is most notable in equatorial currents.

Deep ocean currents are driven by density and temperature gradients. Thermohaline circulation, also known as the oceans conveyor belt, refers to the deep ocean density-driven ocean basin currents.

Ocean currents are measured in Sverdrup with the symbol Sv, where 1 Sv is equivalent to a volume flow rate of 106 cubic meters per second.

Warm ocean currents are corridors of warm water moving from the tropics poleward  where they release energy to the air. Cold ocean currents are corridors of cold water moving from higher latitudes toward the equator. They absorb energy received in the tropics thus cooling the air above.
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