Earth 100 Ocean Circulation - Earth 100: Ocean Circulation...

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Earth 100: Ocean Circulation Ocean circulation patterns provide us answers to these puzzles - tell us how ocean moves energy across earth 1. Surface Currents o Wind moves surface water (friction) o Velocity of water decreases with depth (also caused by friction) o Wind currents drive ocean surface currents o Energy from the wind transfers to water by friction Due to Coreolis Effect : Phenomenon called Ekman Spiral (Ekman Pumping) Surface waters move 45° relative to wind direction Net transfer of water 90° to wind direction 2. Upwelling o Deep water rich in nutrients o Brings nutrient-rich water to surface ocean, fueling biological productivity (phytonplankton) o Zooplankton eat phytoplankton o Fish eat both (good fisheries in upwelling zones - especially along the west coast of South Africa and Africa) How does wind drive large-scale circulation patterns? o Zonal wind patterns o Convergence in the center of subtropic gyres due to Ekman transport o The water piles up, causing downwelling in the center of gyres -- no
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course EARTH 100 taught by Professor Pratigyapolissar during the Spring '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Earth 100 Ocean Circulation - Earth 100: Ocean Circulation...

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