Feb16_09_OceanCirculation1

Feb16_09_OceanCirculation1 - Ocean Circulation Two types of...

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Ocean Circulation
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Two types of circulation in the ocean *Wind-driven circulation Near-surface circulation directly driven by the wind. *Thermohaline circulation Deep water circulation, driven by changing the density of sea water, i.e., by changing temperature and/or salinity (Evaporation/precipitation, heating/ cooling, freezing/melting of sea ice) Note that driving forces for both types of circulation are located at the sea surface!
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(Ekman transport) (Ekman transport) In Ekman layer, wind stress acting on the water particle is balanced by Coriolis Force.
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The Ekman spiral and the mechanism by which it operates. The length of the arrows in the diagrams is proportional to the speed of the current in each layer. (a) The Ekman spiral model. (b) A body of water can be thought of as a set of layers. The top layer is driven forward by the wind, and each layer below is moved by friction. Each succeeding layer moves with a slower speed and at an angle to the layer immediately above it to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, to the left in the Southern Hemisphere until water motion becomes negligible. (c) Though the direction of movement varies for each layer in the stack, the theoretical net flow of water in the Northern Hemisphere is 90 ° to the right of the prevailing wind force.
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Divergence at the sea surface leads to upwelling of colder water. Convergence at the sea surface leads to downwelling of warm surface water.
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Ocean response to atmospheric low or high pressure system in the northern hemisphere L H If a low (high) atmos- pheric pressure system is located over the open ocean, the resulting Ekman transport moves near-surface water away from (toward) the center of the low pressure causing divergence ( convergence ) .
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