BC8 11 2

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Published on January 1, 2008

Author: Waldarrama

Source: authorstream.com

11.2 Ocean Currents:  11.2 Ocean Currents There are more than 20 major currents which move large amounts of water predictably around the oceans. Currents move large quantities of water, minerals, solar energy, oxygen and carbon dioxide, plankton and fish. Currents are caused and driven by water density and salt content, the wind, the spin of Earth, coastlines and the moon. Largest current is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in the Southern Ocean, at 24 000 km long Ocean currents are either Surface currents (0 - 200 m) Deep water currents (200 m and deeper) See page 414 - 416 What Makes Surface Currents Move?:  What Makes Surface Currents Move? Wind As air warms from solar energy, it rises, and cooler air rushes to replace it. This creates wind. As the wind passes along the surface of the water, it bumps the water molecules and moves them along in the same direction. Spin of the Earth Earth spins from West to East (counter clockwise) The Coriolis effect deflects winds and currents to the right/East in the Northern hemisphere (opposite in the Southern hemisphere) Shape of continents Currents move through the oceans and around the continents like rocks in a stream. See page 416 - 417 What Makes Deep Currents Move?:  What Makes Deep Currents Move? Water temperature Like air, warm water rises, and cool water falls Density current = cool, dense water moving on an ocean floor. Three layers of water dependent on temperature: Surface: 0 - 200 m, warmest Thermocline: 200 m - 1 km, rapidly cools Deep water: 1 km and deeper, just above freezing Water salinity Adding fresh water decreases salinity Evaporation and freezing increases salinity Densest ocean waters at the poles Upwelling occurs when nutrient-rich cold water finally moves up to the surface See page 418 - 420 Ocean Waves and Their Effect on Shaping Land:  Ocean Waves and Their Effect on Shaping Land Most waves are created by wind. In open ocean, waves are called swells. Swells “break” in shallow water, show characteristic curl. The largest waves are tsunamis, caused by undersea earthquakes, landslides or volcanic eruptions. Waves erode coastal areas based on the force of the waves, and the composition of the shoreline. Headlands made up of harder rock, and erode less, but absorb most wave force. Bays occur between headlands, are generally calm. Sea stacks are extra-hard rock left behind from eroded headlands. See page 421 Tides:  Tides Tides are caused by gravities of Earth and the Moon. High tides occur where the Moon is closest to Earth (and opposite side) Low tides occur at 90º to the high tides. Tidal range (difference between high and low) averages 3 m in BC. The Sun’s gravity, when lined up properly, can produce extreme tides. These are called spring tides When the Sun, Moon and Earth are not lined up, the tides are called neap tides. See page 423 - 424 Take the Section 11.2 Quiz

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