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glg study guide


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spiraling pattern described by changes in water direction and speed with depth
Ekman Spiral
net water transport, the sum of layer movement due to the Ekman spiral. Theoretical Ekman transport in the Northern Hemisphere is 90 degrees to the right of the wind direction. NH, to the right. SH, to the left
Ekman Transport
circuit of mid-latititude currents around the periphery of an ocean basin. Most oceanographers recognize five gyres plus the West Wind Drift. Occupies most of the ocean basin in each hemisphere
Air molecules in a wind are dragged across ocean’s surface. Collision of air molecules with water molecules sets water in motion. Water current 3-4% of the speed of generating wind.
wind drag
change of height across a horizontal distance, water responds by flowing down the slope, steeper the gradient, the faster the flow of water.
water gradient
circulation pattern in which deep, cold, usually nutrient-laden water moves toward the surface. can be caused by winds blowing parallel to shore or offshore
circulation pattern in which surface water moves vertically downward
: strong, warm, concentrated, fast-moving current at the western boundary of an ocean (off the east coast of a continent). Examples include the Gulf Stream and the Japan current.
Western Boundary Current
: weak, cold, diffuse, slow-moving current at the eastern of an ocean (off the west coast of the continent). Examples include the canary current and the Humboldt current.
Eastern Boundary Current
east-to-west or west-to-east current linking the eastern and western boundary currents. An example is the North equatorial current.
Transverse Current
: the increase in speed of geostrophic currents as they pass along the western boundary of an ocean basin
Westward Intensification
: a southward-flowing, nutrient-poor current of warm water off the coast of western South America, caused by a breakdown of trade wind circulation.
El Nino
an event during which normal tropical Pacific atmospheric and oceanic circulation strengthens and the surface temperature of the eastern South Pacific drops below average values. Usually occurs at the end of an ENSO event.
La Nina
water that comes in contact with the sea floor
Bottom/Deep water
water circulation produced by differences in temperature and/or salinity (and therefore density).
Thermohaline Circulation
cold, dense water formed in the Arctic that flows onto the floor of the North Atlantic Ocean.
North Atlantic Deep Water
The densest ocean water (1.027 g/cm3), formed primarily in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea during Southern Hemisphere winters.
Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW)
Name the Six Major Ocean Gyres
North Atlantic Gyre South Atlantic Gyre North Pacific Gyre South Pacific Gyre Indian Ocean Gyre West Wind Drift/Antarctic Circumpolar Current
Between which 2 wind belts is the North Atlantic Gure
Westerlies and Trade Winds
factors that drive the formation of geostrophic gyres?
Wind drag, earth's rotation, water gradient, and coriolis effect
Life of a Tsunami
1. Initiation 2. Split 3. Amplification 4. Runup

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