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FIGURE 10.20. Schematic diagram showing the classification of ocean gyres and major ocean current systems and their relation to the prevailing zonal winds. The pattern of Ekman transport and regions of upwelling and downwelling are also marked.

for western as opposed to eastern boundary currents, it gives us deep physical insights into the mechanism underlying the wind-driven circulation.

10.3.1. Rationalization of position, sense of circulation, and volume transport of ocean gyres

The Sverdrup relation, Eq. 10-17, is one of the cornerstones of dynamical oceanography. We can use it to derive a simple expression for the transport of ocean gyres as follows. The depth integrated flow must be horizontally nondivergent, and so we can introduce a streamfunction, Y, to map it out, [just as a streamfunction was used to represent the geostrophic flow in Section 7.1] where

dy dx

Combining Eqs. 10-17 and 10-19 and integrating westward from the eastern boundary, where we set Y = 0 (no transport through the eastern boundary7) we obtain:

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