Geostrophic Currents

Some currents in the oceans follow specific horizons on the topographic contours of the ocean basin, staying at the same depth for long distances. These currents in the ocean or atmosphere, in which the horizontal pressure is balanced by the equal but opposite Coriolis force, are known as geostrophic currents. Friction does not affect these currents, which flow to the right of the pressure gradient force along pressure

Plate Tectonics Climate
1 1
Cold currents Warm currents

1.

California Current

1.

North Pacific Drift

12.

West Wind Drift

2.

Humboldt Current

2.

North Equatorial Current

13.

Monsoon Current

3.

Labrador Current

3.

Equatorial Countercurrent

14.

Equatorial Countercurrent

4.

Canaries Current

4.

South Equatorial Current

15.

South Equatorial Current

5.

Benguela Current

5.

West Wind Drift

16.

Mozambique Current

6.

Falkland Current

6.

Gulf Stream

17.

West Wind Drift

7.

West Australian Current

7.

North Atlantic Drift

18.

Japan Current

8.

Okhotsk Current

8.

North Equatorial Current

19.

North Equatorial Current

9.

Equatorial Countercurrent

20.

Equatorial Countercurrent

10.

South Equatorial Current

21.

South Equatorial Current

11.

Brazil Current

22.

East Australian Current

© Infobase Publishing

© Infobase Publishing

Map showing major cold and warm ocean currents of the world isobars in the Northern Hemisphere atmosphere and oceans and to the left in the southern hemisphere. In the oceans, geostrophic currents are also known as contour currents, since they follow the bathymet-ric contours on the seafloor, flowing clockwise in the Northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. Downslope currents such as turbidity currents deposit most of the sediments on continental slopes. since geostrophic or contour currents flow along the bathymetric contours, they rework bottom sediments at right angles to the currents that deposited the sediments. Their work is therefore detectable by examination of paleocurrent indicators that swing from downslope to slope-parallel movement vectors at the top of turbidite and other slope deposits.

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