Dynamic Oceanography -

Surface currents and thermohaline flow

The ocean's deep water currents are driven by gravity and coriolis force. Stratification in the deep ocean caused by different water masses leads to density layers that sink or rise to achieve neutral buoyancy. In turn, density is controlled by salinity and temperature characteristics.

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Table of Contents

Title slide

Geostrophic flow allows currents to flow long distances with no apparent Coriolis deflection.

Stacking of water within a gyre

The formation of a geostrophic current

Characteristics of geostrophic mounds

Currents Within Gyres

The Gulf Stream

Geostrophic Gyres

Western Boundary currents

Eastern Boundary currents

Characteristics of Boundary currents

Countercurrents and Undercurrents

Upwelling And Downwelling

Coastal divergence and convergence

Oceanic divergence and convergence

Langmuir circulation

Langmuir cells


Effects of Surface Currents on Climate

El Nino

Thermohaline circulation overview

The Temperature-Salinity Diagram

Vertical stratification oceanic profiles

Thermocline Circulation

Overview of water masses

Underwater waterfalls

Thermohaline currents

Deep ocean circulation

Thermohaline Circulation Patterns

Thermohaline sources and sinks

Thermohaline circular flow patterns

Water circulation in semi-enclosed areas

Circulation in the Mediterranean

Chemistry of the Black Sea

Studying Currents


Author: Sean Todd

Email: stodd@coa.edu

Home Page: http://www.coa.edu/faculty/webpages/stodd/index.

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