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22 Cards in this Set

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What forces are responsible for currents? What influences the direction and nature of these currects?
Three major factors that set ocean currents: wind, changes in sea level, and cariations in water density. Wind causes both surface currents and waves.
What is a gyre? How many gyres are there? Where are they?
Combination of westerlies pushing water eastward along the upper Atlantic, trade winds pushing it westward near the equator, and Coriolis effect results in circular flow in each ocean basin. Five gyres, N&S Atlantic, N&S Pacific, and Indian Ocean.
What is Ekman transport? What is its role in wind driven circulation?
Discovered in 1890s by Fridtjof Nansen. Currents have a tendency to flow to the right in the N. Hemisphere and in the S. Hemisphere to the left because of the Coriolis effect.
Why do currents tend to flow around the periphery of an ocean basin?
Due to balance between Ekman transport trying to push the water to the center of the basin and the high point in the center holding the flow away.
What are geostrophic currents? How do they relate to ocean basin circulation patterns?
All give oceanic gyres behave like the N. Atlantic Gyre. Geostrophic means related to the Earth's rotation. They tend to flow clockwise in the N. Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The gyre paths somewhat vary on wind strength. Can cause eddies.
Why are western boundary currents faster than eastern boundary currents? How do western boundary currents differ from eastern boundry currents?
Western boundary currents flow more quickly than eastern boundary currents partly because the trade winds pile water on the western ocean boundry.
Countercurrents?
A countercurrent runs opposite to an adjacent current. Countercurrents develop in equatorial regions because of the doldrums. Without wind pushing water westward, water driven in from the east enters the ocean basin more quickly that it exits to the west. Returning excess water eastward.
Undercurrents?
An undercurrent runs beneath an adjacent current. It is unclear into why it forms.
What makes upwellings and downwellings occur? What biological effect do they have?
A coastal upwelling and downwellings occurs when the wind blows offshore ore parallel to shore. Sometimes they occur when offshore wind creates a current that pushes the surface water out to sea.
What role do currents play in transporting heat? How do currents affect climate?
Currents play a critical role by transporting heat from warm areas to cool areas. Transporting all this heat affects climate by moderating temperatures.
What happens when ENSO occurs?
Affects world weather patterns. During a warm phase of ENSO event, warm water accumulates in the EAstern Pacific.
What forces are responsible for currents? What influences the direction and nature of these currects?
Three major factors that set ocean currents: wind, changes in sea level, and cariations in water density. Wind causes both surface currents and waves.
What is a gyre? How many gyres are there? Where are they?
Combination of westerlies pushing water eastward along the upper Atlantic, trade winds pushing it westward near the equator, and Coriolis effect results in circular flow in each ocean basin. Five gyres, N&S Atlantic, N&S Pacific, and Indian Ocean.
What is Ekman transport? What is its role in wind driven circulation?
Discovered in 1890s by Fridtjof Nansen. Currents have a tendency to flow to the right in the N. Hemisphere and in the S. Hemisphere to the left because of the Coriolis effect.
Why do currents tend to flow around the periphery of an ocean basin?
Due to balance between Ekman transport trying to push the water to the center of the basin and the high point in the center holding the flow away.
What are geostrophic currents? How do they relate to ocean basin circulation patterns?
All give oceanic gyres behave like the N. Atlantic Gyre. Geostrophic means related to the Earth's rotation. They tend to flow clockwise in the N. Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The gyre paths somewhat vary on wind strength. Can cause eddies.
Why are western boundary currents faster than eastern boundary currents? How do western boundary currents differ from eastern boundry currents?
Western boundary currents flow more quickly than eastern boundary currents partly because the trade winds pile water on the western ocean boundry.
Countercurrents?
A countercurrent runs opposite to an adjacent current. Countercurrents develop in equatorial regions because of the doldrums. Without wind pushing water westward, water driven in from the east enters the ocean basin more quickly that it exits to the west. Returning excess water eastward.
Undercurrents?
An undercurrent runs beneath an adjacent current. It is unclear into why it forms.
What makes upwellings and downwellings occur? What biological effect do they have?
A coastal upwelling and downwellings occurs when the wind blows offshore ore parallel to shore. Sometimes they occur when offshore wind creates a current that pushes the surface water out to sea.
What role do currents play in transporting heat? How do currents affect climate?
Currents play a critical role by transporting heat from warm areas to cool areas. Transporting all this heat affects climate by moderating temperatures.
What happens when ENSO occurs?
Affects world weather patterns. During a warm phase of ENSO event, warm water accumulates in the EAstern Pacific.