GEOS 212-1 Homework #4
Please turn in during Study Group
Currents in the Pacific, Arctic, Atlantic, & Southern Oceans
This homework deals with the patterns and rates of surface currents (or gyres) in the Pacific, Arctic, Southern,
and Atlantic Oceans. To do this exercise you will need to refer to the large World Map as well as accompanying
maps of surface currents and wind belts.
Because surface currents are driven by the wind, let’s review the main wind belts on Earth.
On the map below, please:
(1) draw arrows over the Pacific Ocean that show the directions for the main wind belts (from Lecture 12)
(2) label the Trade Winds, Westerlies, Polar Easterlies (solid boxes)
(3) label the Doldrums, Horse Latitudes, and Storm Latitudes between the wind belts (dashed boxes)
Pacific Ocean currents
First, we will follow the path of a ship-load of 29,000 rubber duckies that spilled into the North Pacific during a
major storm in the 1990’s. The spill occurred in the middle of the North Pacific Current (at the star on the map
below), and the duckies have since been carried all around the North and Central Pacific by surface currents.
Some duckies have even been carried by surface currents to Australia, Europe, and the eastern US!
On the map below, please draw a ducky’s path along the surface currents -- eastward to Canada, southward