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13 Effects of Ocean Currents on Coastline

by Fitriani

The ocean has a series of moving sea water that are called as ocean currents. The ocean currents can create storms, affect temperature and most importantly affect the coastline all over the world. They way the ocean currents affect the coastline depends on the features that they have, their strength and the type of its currents. Below are 13 Effects of Ocean Currents on Coastline that you should know about as additional knowledge on sea waves.

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1. Increase Biological Productivity

Ocean currents are good in increasing the biological productivity around the coastline. They are able to rotate the surface water into the deep ocean. As a result, the deep ocean nutrients rise up to the ocean water. This ocean currents help in stabilising the ecosystem as well as providing the nutrients for the fishes in the coastlines.

2. Affects the Climate

The currents in the ocean affect the climate in the world. It helps in maintaining the overall climate over a certain region. For example, the currents are able to absorb the heat over the tropic waters. Thus, it keeps the climate cooler around the area.

3. Help the Fisheries in Coastlines

The ocean currents also have a tremendous effect on the fisheries in the coastlines. Due to their ability to bring up nutrients from the deep water, more fish can flourish over the coasts. The whole process helps the fishing industries to catch more fish around the region. It brings more income for the people in the area.

4. Bring in Storms

One of the main reason for the storms around the coastline is the ocean currents. Those currents are able to create ocean storms around the world. The storms are created in the middle of the sea. They gradually move into the coastlines region with strong power. They gain strength depending on the movement of the currents in the water too.

5. Storm Surges

Storm surges are when ocean waters rise up above the usual level. Due to the increase water level, they move inland and flood everything they come into contact with. Ocean currents cause the storm surges in the coastline. They contribute to the power of the ocean storm that carries the ocean water with them through strong winds.

6. Control the Temperature

The coastline serves as a land border around the ocean. Therefore, it will experience the temperature effect that ocean currents can cause. The currents in the ocean can bring in warm or cool temperature to the coastline. It all depends on what currents are currently flowing along the surrounding ocean.

7. Bring Unexpected Changes in Climate

The ocean currents can bring unexpected change in the climate. For instance, the El Niño currents. It happens when there is a sudden change in the ocean currents direction. The overall climate of the area near the coastline will be affected. There could be more big storms or droughts. The effects can also extend to the mainland.

8. Prevent Ice Formation in the Shores

Although ice is important to the ocean and the climate of the world, too much of it can be a bad thing too. This especially applies to the shores. If there are too many ice in the shores, then ships cannot come and go out of seaports. But thankfully, the ocean currents prevent such a thing from happening as they carry out their regular currents in the oceans.

9. Determining Transportation around Coastlines

Ocean currents play a huge role in determining the transportation system near the coastlines. They can help in knowing what to look out for in the oceans while the ships are out transporting things between the countries. Moreover, the currents can tell whether shipping through the oceans would be possible for the day.

10. Carry Sediment from Coastlines

Since ocean currents are full of moving sea water, they are able to transport many things around the world. One of the important thing they are able to carry is sediment. The longshore drift is an ocean current that creates beach erosion in the coastal region. The currents can carry away the sediment back to the ocean and distribute it for the sea floor.

11. Changing Shapes and Slopes

The ocean currents can also cause a change in the shape and the slopes in the beaches. The water that keeps moving away and into the beach creates the changes. Movement from the water takes away sands but it also brings more back to the beaches. So, the ocean currents continuously cause a change in the shape of the coastline. Reportedly, the coastline experience a major change of structure for each year.

12. Destroy Barrier Islands

Barrier islands are long deposit of sediment along the coastline. They separate the mainland from the ocean. Also, they act as a buffer that protects the beaches from experiencing too many sea erosion. But the ocean currents are able to destroy or reshape these barrier islands. They are able to do those things depending on the strength of the water currents. Moreover, the wind also plays a part in this.

13. Destroy Manmade Structures

When ocean currents become too strong then they are also able to destroy manmade structures along the coastlines. There have been some reports about lighthouses being torn down due to ocean currents. The currents keep eroding away some parts of the sediments, making the foundation of the light house too weak to put it up. Stronger ocean currents can also enter the mainland and destroy more structures.

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There is not a lot that people can do to lessen or eliminate the effects of ocean currents on coastline. The ocean currents are only carrying out their natural function in the ocean and everything around it. What people can do best is to let nature take its course. Moreover, they can also build a temporary barrier or move away from the coastlines altogether to avoid any losses from the ocean currents.

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