Glossary of Pacific Ocean Currents

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Alaska Current

- Warm-water eddy current
- Resulting from the northward diversion of a portion of the North Pacific Current when it meets the west coast of the North American continent
Aleutian current
(subarctic current)

- Eastward flowing ocean current which lies north of the North Pacific Current
- Northern branch of the Kuroshio Current which moves northeast then east
- As it approaches the coast of North America it divides to form the northward-flowing Alaska current and the southward-flowing California Current
Davidson Current

- Weak and narrow
- Countercurrent of the Pacific Ocean running north along the western coast of the United States from northern California to Washington to at least latitude 48° N
- Prevails during the winter months, generally from September through February
California Current

- Cold current
- Moves south along the western coast of North America, beginning off southern British Columbia, and ending off southern Baja California
- Part of the North Pacific Gyre
Cromwell current
(Pacific Equatorial Undercurrent)
(Equatorial Undercurrent)

- A submarine river: particular ocean current that is, in effect, a river flowing under the surface of an ocean
- 250 miles (400 km) wide and flows to the east
- hidden 300 feet (100 m) under the surface of the Pacific Ocean at the Equator
- Relatively narrow in depth compared to other ocean currents at only 100 feet deep
East Australian Current

- Warm current
- Results in a current vortex in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand
- Also acts to transport tropical marine fauna to habitats in sub-tropical regions along the south east Australian coast
Equatorial Counter Current

- Warm current
- Significant current in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans
- Flows west-to-east at approximately five degrees north
- Result from the need to balance the movement of water to the west of each ocean, caused by the westerly flowing North and South Equatorial currents
Humboldt Current
(Peru Current)

- Cold Current
- One of the major upwelling systems of the world
Kamchatka Current
(Oyayisho current)

- Cold-water current
- Flowing south-westward from the Bering Strait, along the Siberian Pacific coast and the Kamchatka Peninsula
- A portion of this current then becomes the Oyashio Current while the remainder joins the warmer North Pacific Current
Kuroshio Current
(Japanese 黒潮)

- Warm current
- World's second-largest
- Found in the western Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Taiwan and flowing northeastward past Japan, where it merges with the easterly drift of the North Pacific Current
- Transports warm, tropical water northward towards the polar region
Tsushima Current

- Branch into the Sea of Japan
North Pacific Current
(North Pacific Drift)

- Slow warm water current
- Flows west-to-east between 40 and 50 degrees north in the Pacific Ocean
- Forms the northern part of the North Pacific Subpolar Gyre
- Formed by the collision of the Kuroshio Current and the Oyashio Current
Oyashio Current

- Cold subarctic ocean current
- Flows south and circulates counterclockwise in the western North Pacific Ocean
- Has an important impact on the climate of the Russian Far East, mainly in Kamchatka and Chukotka
- During glacial periods the current cannot flow

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