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25 Common Hydrodynamic Characteristics of Ocean

by Dwi Purwaningsih

Ocean is a body of water that makes up the two-third of the entire width of the earth. It often contains saline water as explained in Characteristics of Ocean Environment. Each of the water platforms has its own characteristics. The ocean is not a still phenomenon and the water part of the ocean is always dynamic. To further understand the flow of the ocean, experts conduct research in the hydrodynamic characteristics of ocean.

There are several distinct characteristic of the air movement of the ocean. It is all depend on the given variables used. The geographical location, the salinity, as well as the width and the depth of the ocean affect the hydrodynamic activity of it. Here are 25 hydrodynamic characteristics of ocean.

1. Strong Summer Wind

The heat from the summer season causes more evaporation in the open sea. The evaporated air travels through the sea before reaching the atmosphere. The hot air, when meets the cold air may cause a collided mass of air, causing hurricane or cyclone. In summer season, the air is hot and humid and it typically does not cause much of a movement.

When the wind does not travel to high place, it will cause a dry typhoon in which a mass of humid air reaching through the land. It will destroy the mainland agriculture. However, this rarely happens.

2. Highly Affected by Moon Rise Wind

The rise of the full moon also affects the movement of air. The moon rise raises the force of gravity. It pulls up the surface of the ocean. As a result, the volume of the water increased. The strong gravity force of the moon also pulls up the air on the ocean surface. The pulled up air has two types of movement.

The air spiraling up to the higher atmosphere will create a small typhoon if the hot air prisoned the accumulated wind. It is not the best season for fisherman to fish as the wave tends to be frequent with unstable height.

3. Dynamic Air Wave Movement

The basic type of wave is the one in which the air acts as the main force. The air movement is dynamic and its weight also differs. The force of the wind can lift up the surface of the ocean and move them forward. In other words, that is the sole reason of the creation of wave. There is other type of wave such as wave that is caused by the plate’s movement or tsunami or by the rising of the moon.

The air wave typically does not have strong force. It is the typical wave people often see from the seashore. The stronger the air force, the bigger the wave. The direction of the wave follows the direction of the air.

4. Dynamic Current

A movement of large mass of water in one direction is current. While wave tends to be unstable, current generally stable. However, one thing that people cannot miss from this phenomenon is the current is dynamic. It is always flowing to somewhere with constant flow. Just like the wave, the current depends on the movement of the air.

It is more common to find current with uneven slope or an ocean with different surface height. The current follows the gravitational pull of the earth by flowing down to the lower surface. Because the air tends to be more constant, current has smoother dynamic.

5. Global Conveyor Belt as Temperature Stabilizer

The global conveyor belt is the name given to the main avenue on the ocean in which it distributes high temperature around the earth. The two poles of the earth, especially the North Pole has the extremely cold temperature. The cold wind it has may travel and freeze the nearer areas.

With global conveyor belt, it will even out the travelling temperature. The supposed chilly wind has more even temperature as a result of global conveyor belt. The global conveyor belt usually is a circulation of hot wind caused by evaporation and meeting of two water ocean with different temperature.

6. Upwelling Form in Current

Upwelling forms when is a type of current where the water form below rises to the surface. The risen water is to replace the surface water that the wind carried. The upwelling looks slightly like the wave. However, it usually comes out as ripples more than a series of wave.

The upwelling current usually faces the coastline or shore. It gets dispersed once it reaches the mainland. The upwelling current only comes when the strong wind carries the surface water. Otherwise, the sea is relatively calmer with no wave or just thin ripple of upwelling. This marks the hydrodynamic characteristic of ocean.

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7. Morning Wind Direction is to The Sea

The air tends to travel to hotter place as it circulates around the spot. It also affects the direction of the wind. In the morning where the temperature on the coastline is warmer, the wind direction goes to face the sea. This is the reason why fisherman prefers to go fishing at the open sea on early morning as the wind will help to power up the ship or boat to sail through the sea.

The morning wind is warm and refreshing as it also mixed with the fresh air. However, during critical season, there can be no wind at all and fisherman cannot go to the sea, especially those who use manual boat powered by the wind.

8. Contributes to El Nino

El Nino is the phase where the earth undergoes a long period of hot and dry climate. Small number of people does know that the hydrodynamic of ocean plays huge part in it. During El Nino, ocean water reaches its warmest temperature.

This phenomenon occurs because the weak, warm current runs southwards along the Pacific coast.
It resulted in a long, dry season in Australia and Indonesia, while heavy rainfall and cyclone increases in tropical Pacific. The usual trade winds are getting weaker or change direction during El Nino. El Nino is a rare phenomenon in which it does not happen every year but it heavily depends on the current dynamic on the ocean.

8. Contributes to La Nina

The opposite of El Nino is La Nina. The temperature of the ocean in Pacific Ocean is lower than usual, especially in eastern tropical. The North Indian temperature, however, increased. La Nina can occur five month in a year and the temperature in several countries dropped down to the lowest.

During La Nina, several disasters can occur due to the movement of the cold air. The equator line posses increased chance of rainfall while the sub tropical one is exposed to more frequent chance of hurricane. La Nina does not happen when the global conveyer belt does its job successfully by making the temperature more even.

9. Has Weather Front

There is a part in ocean that separates two air masses where both of them have different density. Weather front is also the location where several natural occurrences happen as the two air masses meet.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain fall may occur on the cold front, while humid and hot air in the warm front causes increased precipitation.
Cold from moves from west to east while warm front move poleward (from south to north and vice versa).

11. Various Air Mass Classification

The air mass is a mass of air circulating on the ocean. As ocean has its own classification based on the region, the air mass also vary depends on which ocean it circulates on. The first type of air mass is continental air mass. The air in continental mass tends to be dry. The other type is maritime air mass. It has moist air compared to continental air. The next classification is based on the usual climate in the region.

Polar air mass and arctic air mass have cold air mass as the polar is influenced by the ice glacier. The tropical air mass is warm and humid while similar to equator air mass. The measurement of air mass stability is by comparing the temperature of the air with the sea surface.

12. Affected by The Land Vegetation

The vegetation of the land surrounds the ocean affected the movement of air. The dry air that comes across tropical forest will be a moist air mass as the temperature of tropical forest is colder than the moving air.
This is why vegetation is important to deflect the unexpected air mass movement.

The dry land on the opposite makes the cool and precipitated air mass becomes hot and that leads to rare occasion of rainfall in desert that has no vegetation.


Other hydrodynamic characteristics of ocean are:

  • Affect The Cycle of Season in The Mainland
  • Stable and Weaker in Open Ocean
  • Can Cause Late Effect Snow
  • Occluded Air Moves from West to East
  • Pulled by Sun’s Gravitation
  • Can Materialize in a Form
  • Major Air Mass Regulated in Desert
  • Has Unstable Monsoon Air
  • Front Passage Clear The Weather
  • Can Cause Localized Precipitation
  • Can Bring Extreme Drought to The Mainland
  • Affected by Temperature Anomalies
  • Affects Open Sea Oil Mine

Basically, water and air movement from and to ocean brings impact to the mainland as the two connected to each other. The climate is the one that the hydrodynamic of the sea affect the most. Indeed, there are 25 hydrodynamic characteristics of ocean.

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