An ocean current is "any more or less permanent or continuous, directed movement of ocean water that flows in one of the Earth's oceans," according to ScienceDaily.com. Currents are created by a variety of forces.
Wind, temperature differences, water density and salinity all play a role in generating ocean currents. Currents may also be influenced by external forces, such as earthquakes, the coriolis effect produced by the Earth's rotation, and the gravitational pull of the Moon.
According to the University of Southern California, the two types of ocean currents are surface currents, also know as surface circulation, and deep water currents also called thermohaline circulation. These currents make up 10 percent and 90 percent of all the water in the ocean respectively.
Ocean currents can be formed by wind, gravity, earthquakes and temperature and salinity variations that cause density differences in the water mass, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some ocean currents are short lived and don't go far, while others last for a very lo
Surface ocean currents are caused by winds. Wind currents run in certain directions because the earth rotates. Winds go to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
Oceans lay claim to about 70 percent of the surface of the earth, and ocean life accounts for 94 percent of living things. Despite this, scientists have yet to explore most of the ocean, as its average depth surpasses 12,400 feet and is mostly cloaked in darkness.
Deep ocean currents are caused by density differences in the water, which are typically due to variations in salinity and temperature. Deep ocean currents are those found below 1,312 feet (400 meters). They are also known as thermohaline circulation and make up approximately 90 percent of the ocean.
Oceans cover the majority of the Earth's surface, which is why the Earth appears blue from outer space. Oceans cover over 129 million square miles of Earth, which is about 65.7 percent of the Earth's surface. The deepest part of the oceans can reach a depth of over 6 miles, and the ocean contains 97
The oceans transfer heat by their currents, which take hot water from the equator up to higher latitudes and cold water back down toward the equator. Due to this transfer of heat, climate near large bodies of water is often extreme and at times, unpredictable.
As a system of interconnected bodies of salt water, oceans cover 70 percent of the earth's surface and hold 97 percent of the planet's water supply. The five major oceans of the world are the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean.