marra-16.docx - Ocean in Motion Ekman Transport Once the...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ocean in Motion: Ekman Transport Once the wind sets surface waters in motion as a current, the Coriolis effect, Ekman transport, and the configuration of the ocean basin modify the speed and direction of the current. In this section, we consider the forces involved in the coupling of wind and ocean surface waters. Wind-driven Currents and Ekman Transport The wind blows across the ocean and moves its waters as a result of its frictional drag on the surface. Ripples or waves cause the surface roughness necessary for the wind to couple with surface waters. A wind blowing steadily over deep water for 12 hrs at an average speed of about 100 cm per sec (2.2 mi per hr) would produce a 2 cm per sec current (about 2% of the wind speed). If Earth did not rotate, frictional coupling between moving air and the ocean surface would push a thin layer of water in the same direction as the wind. This surface layer in turn would drag the layer beneath it, putting it into motion. This interaction would propagate downward through successive ocean layers, like cards in a deck, each moving forward at a slower speed than the layer above. However, because Earth rotates, the shallow layer of surface water set in motion by the wind is deflected to the right of the wind direction in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left of the wind direction in the Southern Hemisphere. This deflection is known as the
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern