Ocean currents can be caused by wind, density differences in water masses caused by temperature and salinity variations, gravity, and events such as earthquakes or storms. … These currents move water masses through the deep ocean—taking nutrients, oxygen, and heat with them.
How are density currents formed and how do they move?
Density currents form when water becomes cold and dense and sinks to the bottom and travels along the see floor, then it reaches warmer water and it warms and rises and repeats the cycle.
How are density currents formed?
Some density currents occur because they contain higher amounts of suspended sediments than the surrounding water. Such density currents, called
What causes deep density currents?
Deep currents, also known as thermohaline circulation, result from differences in water density. These currents occur when cold, dense water at the poles sinks. Surface water flows to replace sinking water, causing a conveyor belt-like effect of water circulating around the globe on a 1000-year journey.
Which factors affect density currents?
The density of seawater plays a vital role in causing ocean currents and circulating heat because of the fact that dense water sinks below less dense. Salinity, temperature and depth all affect the density of seawater.
Which current is the densest?
The densest deep water mass is formed in the Weddell Sea of Antarctica, and becomes the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). Similar processes in the North Atlantic produce the North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) in the Greenland Sea (Figure 9.8.
What ocean has the greatest density?
The Pacific has most of the lightest water with densities below 26.0, whereas the Atlantic has most of the densest water between 27.5 and 28.0.
What are the 3 types of ocean currents?
- The rise and fall of the tides. Tides create a current in the oceans, which are strongest near the shore, and in bays and estuaries along the coast. …
- Wind. Winds drive currents that are at or near the ocean’s surface. …
- Thermohaline circulation.
What are two types of density currents?
Two major kinds of currents define the planet’s oceans: surface currents driven by wind and deep-water currents driven by variations in seawater density.
What influences seawater density?
The density of seawater depends on temperature and salinity. Higher temperatures decrease the density of seawater, while higher salinity increases the density of seawater. The following figure shows how density is affected by temperature and salinity. The lines through the figure are lines of constant density.
What factors influence water density and which is most important?
Answer: There are two main factors which affect the density of water, namely, Temperature and Purity. The density of pure water varies with temperature and attains its maximum value at a temperature of 4^0C. Impure water density increases with respect to impurity.
What three factors can change the density of water?
Water density changes with temperature and salinity. Density is measured as mass (g) per unit of volume (cm³). Water is densest at 3.98°C and is least dense at 0°C (freezing point).
Which thermohaline current is the warmest?
Near the thermal equator, where the warmest surface water is found, there occurs the eastward-flowing Equatorial Counter Current. This current is slightly north of the geographic Equator, drawing the northern fringe of the South Equatorial Current to 5° Ν.
Which ocean is the saltiest?
Of the five ocean basins, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest. On average, there is a distinct decrease of salinity near the equator and at both poles, although for different reasons.
Which currents are denser blue or red?
The blue arrows indicate the path of deep, cold, dense water currents. The red arrows indicate the path of warmer, less dense surface waters.