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17 Functions Of Ocean Current

by Ayu Mesdya

The functions of ocean currents themselves actually have an attachment with the function of ocean waves. For more details what are the functions of ocean currents, you can directly read the 17 functions of ocean currents below here.

  1. Ocean Currents

Ocean currents are water movements that occur throughout the world where the movement of this water has a direction vertically and horizontally.

Ocean currents can occur due to several supporting factors such as wind, density, even the movement of the ocean waves.

The ocean currents are divided into two types, hot ocean currents, and cold ocean currents. Hot ocean currents because the water temperature tends to be hot, usually in tropical regions or regions below the equator.

While the cold currents are ocean currents that have low temperatures, usually ocean currents are found in the polar regions. See also Importance of Ocean Currents For Fishing

 2. Ocean water density

Density is one of the internal factors that influence the occurrence of ocean currents. The difference in ocean water density depends on temperature, salinity, and also pressure.

This difference is usually observed in the deep sea in the Arctic and the North poles that are flowing into the tropics. This density difference is also indirectly related to temperature.

 3. The attraction of the sun and the moon

Ocean currents can also occur due to the attraction of the sun and the moon, which is usually referred to as tidal sea water. If the position of the moon and the sun is in a straight line with the earth, then at full moon, the attraction between them will strengthen each other.

This is where the tidal moon is very high. Otherwise, if the position of the moon and the sun forms a right angle to the earth, then the attraction between the two is weak. In here the tides are very small and even weak. See also Effects of Wind on Ocean Currents

4. Wind

The movement of water masses is influenced by wind factor, the speed of wind is what makes the ocean currents move vertically and horizontally. Like the Coriolis style where this force is a force that bends the current from the rotational power of the earth.

This Coriolis style will turn to the right of the northern hemisphere and turn to the left of the southern hemisphere.

This rotation of this force causes the flow of gyre clockwise in the northern hemisphere and opposite the clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere. This is where the role of the wind is very influential on the style of Coriolis.

5. The topographic form of ocean and island

What is topography? Topography is the study of the surface forms of the earth, including the sea floor. The existing surface forms of the island and seabed turn out to affect the flow system at sea. Boundaries such as islands and other terrestrial periods cause the existing flow systems in the sea to tend towards a rounded shape.

This is also a factor of ocean currents occurring, for example, ocean currents in steep coastal areas will be very inversely proportional to currents in the northern coastal regions.

6. Spreading of ocean currents

The spread of ocean currents in the earth, divided into several regions, including the following. North of the equator, Pacific Ocean later, southern equatorial currents, Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.

The spread of ocean currents each has different roles, functions, and types in each spreading. For example, the currents of eastern Australia, which are the southern equatorial currents flowing along the east coast of Australia from north to south where ocean currents occur east of the Great Barrier Reef.  See also Importance of Coral in the Great Barrier Reef

7. Ekman Currents

Ekman currents are currents that occur at sea level and are caused by wind movement. One scientist named Ekman finds that the ocean’s surface current is not moving in the direction of the wind moving on the surface of the sea itself.

Since its discovery, this scientist created a theory known as Ekman Currents Theory. In here, if the drift of the ocean surface currents is greater with increasing velocity will occur known as Ekman Spiral.

Ekman spiral occurs because the process of wind movement is not in the direction of seawater movement.

Here, the upwelling process occurs, in which the water mass will be pushed upwards from a depth of more than 100 meters.

8. Kuroshio Current

To the north of the equator, there are several types of famous ocean currents such as Kuroshio currents. The Kuroshio current is the continuous current of the Northern Equatorial current where this heat flows towards the west along the equator which is driven by the tidal winds.

From here, the heat will reach the Philippines and flow north. This current is driven by the west wind and flows into several countries, such as the Philippine archipelago, to the east of the Japanese archipelago until finally to the coast of North America, including Canada.

From this Kuroshio current then will be continued by California currents flowing along the coasts of North and South America until finally towards the equator.

9. Gulf Stream Currents

Gulf Stream is a spectacular current phenomenon that once existed on earth. This current is basically the heat flow coming from the Gulf of Mexico where the bay’s current is reinforced by a great wind drive.

With a large wind drive, this hot current flows up to the north until it approaches the poles. This hot current is bringing benefits to some countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

During the winter, their ports do not freeze, the water does not freeze and the air is not too cold either. This advantage is also felt by the countries of London and Paris, they also thank these warm currents make their area does not freeze throughout the winter. See also Effects of Ocean Upwelling

10. The West and East Season Currents

In the Indian Ocean, there are two types of currents that change direction every six months, they are the currents of the west season and the currents of the east seasons.

The current of the west season is the current generated by the southwest monsoons where the current flows towards the East to the Arabian sea and the Benguela Bay.

This stream usually occurs every October to April. The northeastern seasons are caused by the northeast monsoons where the current flows towards the West and along the Bay of Benguela.

The current from April to October is a strong current because it is driven by two winds, northeast winds and northeast seasons.

11. Ship for sailing

Ocean currents, in addition to bringing benefits to some other countries. Ocean currents can also benefit humans, such as sailing. Sailing is one of the human activities that had been done since the old time, humans make the voyage usually to trade or immigrate to another place.

The current example used is the monsoon current in the Indian Ocean, the Arabs used the current to sail to India and Malacca to trade.

Besides, the current seasons of the Java Sea and the Sea of China are also widely used by Indonesian people, especially Bugis and Makasar to sail from Ujungpandang to Singapore. See also Effects of Ocean Currents on Economic Activities

12. Ocean current energy

Ocean currents can also be utilized to generate electrical energy. The utilization of ocean currents energy as a new energy is still being developed in several major countries.

To generate energy from the ocean currents required a generator in the form of turbines with giant propellers where this tool is usually buried in the sea. This tidal current is what will move this giant propeller to produce electricity.

13. The spread of icebergs

The icebergs, large chunks of ice that are split from glaciers and floating in the waters are usually driven by east winds and cold currents from the north polar ocean that flows into the south pole to the east coast of Labrador.

The icebergs carried by these cold currents can cause the spread of new icebergs, especially in the Atlantic Ocean.

Although the iceberg is just a piece of glacier ice that floats, this iceberg can be dangerous, especially for the ships that are on the way.

14. The effect of ocean current on fishes

Ocean currents also affect the spread of fish in the sea. The ocean currents can divert the eggs and the children of the fish into enlargement areas for adult life.

The fish that exist in this enlargement area eventually breed and exploited fishermen who go to sea to catch fish. The presence of the current also brings the existence of plankton which as food for the fish. See also Causes of Ocean Surface Circulation Currents

 15. As cultivated land

In addition, to help the fisherman, ocean currents are also used by some farmers for cultivation of seaweed.

For cultivation of this seaweed, planting is required by using the method, for example like this basic method. In here seaweed seedlings are bound and spread to the bottom of the seawaters or can also bind them to the rocks.

This method is suitable for flat and sandy bottom ground location. Besides, the farmers should conduct checks at least 2 to 3 days to prevent seaweed carried by ocean currents which are fast. See also Function of Ocean Currents

16. As a tourist destination 

Ocean currents on the beach, usually used for sports. Surfing, diving, and even sailing. Hotels that stand along the coast take advantage of this to make the beach as a tourist destination which can bring benefits to hotels and other inns.

Like the best surfing spot in Waikiki, Hawaii. This place is always a place of surfers paradise. This place is the perfect place for beginner surfers who want to learn to surf with gentle waves.

17. Rip Currents

Rip current is one of the most dangerous currents to avoid. Rip current is a powerful current of water that moves away from the shorelines.

This is strong enough to sweep the humans even strongest swimmer out. Rip currents are usually characterized by the state of the beach and the calm waves. In here we must beware, do not rush to swim in it. It could be a dangerous rip current and it can drag us in. See also Impact of Ocean Currents

Hopefully, the 17 functions of ocean current can be useful for all of us and it can increase our knowledge, especially in the field of oceanography.

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