BuyFind

Oceanography: An Invitation To Mar...

9th Edition
Garrison + 1 other
Publisher: Brooks Cole
ISBN: 9781305254282
BuyFind

Oceanography: An Invitation To Mar...

9th Edition
Garrison + 1 other
Publisher: Brooks Cole
ISBN: 9781305254282

Solutions

Chapter 9, Problem 1TC
Textbook Problem

Why does water tend to flow around the periphery of an ocean basin? Why are western boundary currents the fastest ocean currents? How do they differ from eastern boundary currents?

Expert Solution
To determine

The reason why water tend to flow around the periphery of ocean basin, the reason why western boundary currents are the fastest ocean currents, and the way in which they differ from eastern boundary currents.

Answer to Problem 1TC

The flow of water flow in a gyre may be actively balanced between the downhill affinity of the pressure gradient and the uphill trend of Coriolis deflection. The balance of the Coriolis Effect and the pressure gradient, and of wind energy and friction drive the currents of the gyre, causing them to flow along the outer margins of the ocean basin.

The western boundary currents are likely to be fast, hot, and deep, whereas the eastern boundary currents are likely to be slow, cold, and shallow. The volume of water carried by western boundary currents are greater than the ones carried through eastern boundary currents.

Explanation of Solution

Reason due to which water tend to flow around the periphery of ocean basin

Piling up of the moving water occurs in the direction the wind is gusting. The piled-up side experiences higher water pressure, followed by the pulling of water downslope due to gravity against the pressure gradient, in the direction of its origin. However, any mass moving on the Earth will be affected by the Coriolis force. Hence, due to the interference of Coriolis Effect, the flow of surface current gets deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere.

The condition of the North Atlantic surface water is taken for instance. It is elevated through Ekman transport and wind motion to develop a low hill. The water moving toward west may be balanced between the Coriolis Effect, which might cause the deflection of water to the right, and pressure gradient brought about by gravity might turn the water to the left. Therefore, as a result of the balance between all these forces, water in a surface current flows along the outside margin of an ocean basin.

Differences between western boundary currents and eastern boundary currents

When the top of the hill created in a rotating gyre remains closer to the western boundary compared to the gyre’s geographic center, then it can be designated as a western intensified current. It is noted that the western boundary currents of the subtropical gyres are western intensified (even in the Southern Hemisphere), which means that they flow along the western margins of the ocean basin in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres. These western margins, which are off the continents’ east coast, are the locations of the deepest and fastest geostrophic currents. It can be said that the western intensification of the western boundary currents are due to the rotation of the Earth and the resultant Coriolis force.

The western boundary currents, which include the Japan or Kuroshio Current (found in the North Pacific), the East Australian Current (found in the South Pacific), the Gulf Stream (found in the North Atlantic), the Brazil Current (found in the South Atlantic), and the Agulhas Current (found in the Indian Ocean), are characteristically swifter, deeper, and narrower than their counterparts in the eastern boundary. They carry a large volume of warm water from the lower latitudes to poleward, exhibiting no or little upwelling.

The eastern boundary currents are also five in numbers like the western boundary currents, and they are the California Current (found in the North Pacific), the Peru or Humboldt Current (in the South Pacific), the Canary Current (found in the North Atlantic), the Benguela Current (found in the South Atlantic), and the West Australian Current (found in the Indian Ocean). Unlike the western boundary currents, the eastern boundary currents flow along the eastern edge of ocean basins, which is off the continents’ west coast.

The eastern boundary currents transport cold water toward the equator and are usually almost 1000kilometers wide and shallow. They neither possess a well-defined boundary nor develop eddies. Their speed is slow and carries only small volume of water relative to their western counterparts. Coastal upwelling is typical in the case of eastern boundary currents.

Want to see more full solutions like this?

Subscribe now to access step-by-step solutions to millions of textbook problems written by subject matter experts!

Want to see more full solutions like this?

Subscribe now to access step-by-step solutions to millions of textbook problems written by subject matter experts!

Chapter 9 Solutions

Oceanography: An Invitation To Marine Science, Loose-leaf Versin
Ch. 9.2 - Name a western boundary current. An eastern...Ch. 9.2 - What is meant by westward intensification? Why are...Ch. 9.2 - What are conditions like at the center of a gyre?Ch. 9.3 - What is the relationship between surface currents...Ch. 9.3 - How does wind blowing over a surface current...Ch. 9.4 - What season of the year results in the greatest...Ch. 9.4 - How can wind-driven horizontal movement of water...Ch. 9.4 - How is the Coriolis effect involved in equatorial...Ch. 9.4 - How is upwelling linked to biological...Ch. 9.5 - Which way does wind typically blow over the...Ch. 9.5 - What is the Southern Oscillation? How is this...Ch. 9.5 - Why do Peruvian fisheries declineoften...Ch. 9.5 - How might weather in the western United States be...Ch. 9.5 - How is La Nia different from El Nio?Ch. 9.5 - Look again at Figure 9.20. What do you think...Ch. 9.6 - What drives the vertical movement of ocean water?...Ch. 9.6 - What are water masses? What determines their...Ch. 9.6 - Where are distinct water masses formed?Ch. 9.6 - What happens in convergence zones? How is...Ch. 9.6 - How does thermohaline circulation force the...Ch. 9.6 - How does the length of time required for...Ch. 9.6 - Traditional methods of studying currents are being...Ch. 9.6 - How can chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) be used as such...Ch. 9.6 - How would western Europes climate change if the...Ch. 9 - Why does water tend to flow around the periphery...Ch. 9 - What causes El Nio? How does an El Nio situation...Ch. 9 - What are countercurrents? Undercurrents? How might...Ch. 9 - What is the role of ocean currents in the...Ch. 9 - Can you think of ways ocean currents have (or...Ch. 9 - What holds up the thermocline? Wouldnt water...

Additional Science Textbook Solutions

Find more solutions based on key concepts
18-42 From what carboxylic acid and alcohol is each ester derived?

Introduction to General, Organic and Biochemistry

A landscape architect is planning an artificial waterfall in a city park. Water flowing at 1.70 m/s will leave ...

Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Technology Update (No access codes included)

Explain the difference between geometric and structural isomers.

Chemistry for Today: General, Organic, and Biochemistry

The length of time a person must spend exercising in order to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for America...

Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies - Standalone book (MindTap Course List)

1.34 Convert the value 0.120 ppb into ppm.

Chemistry for Engineering Students

How do eating disorders affect health?

Understanding Nutrition (MindTap Course List)