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ocean currents

streamlike movements of water.

surface currents

ocean currents that occur at or near the surface of the ocean, caused by wind. affected by 3 factors; continental deflections, the coriolis effect, and global winds.

coriolis effect

causes currents in open water to move in a curved path rather than a straight path. due to Earth's rotation

continental deflection

when surface currents meet continents, the currents are deflected and change direction. In the Northern Hemisphere, currents are deflected to the right. In the Southern Hemisphere, currents are deflected to the left.

Gulf Stream

one of the strongest surface currents on Earth.


causes cold, nutrient rich water's to move up to the Earth's surface. extremely important to ocean life.

how sun provides energy for surface currents

sun heats air, pressure differences form, because of differences in heating, wind forms and causes this type of current.

deep currents

movements of ocean water far below the surface. they form from where the density of ocean water increases.. density is affected by salinity.


water with high salinity is denser than water with low salinity..

convection current

movement of water that results from density differences. these currents can be vertical, circular, or cyclical. like a conveyor belt. deep currents make up the bottom part.

what do ocean currents transport?

dissolved solids, dissolved gases, and energy around the Earth.

the deepest and densest water is formed

in the Antarctic bottom water

surface currents and deep currents form:

convection currents

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