SC MSCI 314 - Western Boundary Currents Lab Report_MSCI314L (2 pages)

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Western Boundary Currents Lab Report_MSCI314L



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Western Boundary Currents Lab Report_MSCI314L

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School:
University Of South Carolina-Columbia
Course:
Msci 314 - Physical Oceanography

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Jena Brown MSCI 314L April 4 2018 Western Boundary currents The Kuroshio Current Western boundary currents are known from carrying warm water from the tropical equatorial zone to the cooler mid latitudes influencing the surrounding water temperatures as well as the atmospheric temperature Western boundary currents are generally warm in temperature relatively fast in speed compared to other ocean currents and they form on the western side of ocean basins Western boundary currents acquire their speed due to being formed on the western side of an asymmetric and unbalanced side of a gyre Wu et al 2012 These gyres are called unbalanced because the Coriolis effect which is stronger towards the poles than at the equator causes a buildup of water towards the western boundary of ocean basins against land masses This causes the ocean surface to be higher on the western side of the ocean gyre than on the eastern side of the gyre thus forcing geostrophic flow on the western side of the gyre to speed up and intensify One important example of a western boundary current in the northern hemisphere is the Kuroshio current which runs for 300km along the western edge of the Pacific Ocean basin off the east coast of Japan This massive current carries the same amount of volume as roughly six hundred large rivers Although it transports a huge volume of water every day the Kuroshio current is a slim band less than 100km in width and about 1km at its maximum depth Barkley R A 1970 Like other western boundary currents the Kuroshio current carries warm water from the equatorial zone where the traded winds blow up into the mid latitudes of the westerlies This transport of warm water by the Kuroshio current drastically influences the temperature weather and productivity off the coast of Japan and its surrounding land masses Because of this the Kuroshio current impacts everyday life of many especially fishermen and farmers in eastern Asia It is said that the success of Farmers in northern Japan



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