Currents Subject Review

(http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/tutorial_currents/welcome.html)

  1. The __________ of currents includes speed and direction components.
  2. Three factors that drive ocean currents are __________.
  3. When a coastal tidal current __________ it moves toward the land and away from the sea. When a coastal tidal current __________ it moves toward the sea away from the land.
  4. As a coastal tidal current moves from ebbing to flooding (and vice versa), there is a period during which there is no current velocity. This period is called __________.
  5. Tidal currents are most strongly influenced by motions of the __________.
  6. When the moon is at full or new phases, the tidal current velocities are __________ and are called __________ When the moon is at first or third quarter phases, tidal current velocities are __________ and are called __________.
  7. “__________ currents” occur when the moon and Earth are closest to each other. “__________ currents occur when the moon and Earth are farthest from each other.
  8. Wave height is affected by wind __________, wind ________, and __________.
  9. Breaking waves are caused by __________.
  10. When a wave reaches a beach or coastline, it releases a burst of energy that generates a current, which runs parallel to the shoreline. This type of current is called a __________.
  11. Water flowing in a longshore current can transport beach sediment and cause significant beach erosion through a process known as __________.
  12. A localized current that flows toward the ocean, perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the shoreline is called a __________.
  13. Swimmers caught in a rip current can escape by ________.
  14. A long offshore deposit of sand situated parallel to the coast is called a __________.
  15. __________ occurs when winds blowing across the ocean’s surface push water away from an area, causing subsurface water to come up from beneath the surface to replace the diverging surface water. Areas where this occurs are often good for __________, because__________.
  16. Earth’s rotation causes air circulating in the atmosphere to deflect toward the right in the Northern Hemisphere and toward the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This deflection is called __________.
  17. Between 5 degrees North latitude and about 25 degrees North latitude, surface winds generally blow from the northeast to the southwest, and are known as the ________.
  18. Between 5 degrees North and 5 degrees South latitude, where the winds are generally sporadic and have little or no velocity. This region is called __________.
  19. Between about 35 degrees North latitude and about 55 degrees North latitude, surface winds generally blow from the west, and are known as __________.
  20. Global winds drag on the ocean’s surface, causing the water to move in the direction that the wind is blowing and thus create surface ocean currents. Deflection of these currents by Earth’s rotation produces spiral currents called __________.
  21. Each of the major ocean-wide gyres is flanked by a strong and narrow “western boundary current,” and a weak and broad “eastern boundary current.” The western boundary current of the North Atlantic gyre is called __________, and the eastern boundary current of this gyre is known as __________.
  22. When surface water molecules move by the force of the wind, friction with water molecules below them causes movement of deeper water layers. Deeper layers move more slowly than shallower layers, however, and all layers are deflected by Earth’s rotation (to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere). These forces create a spiral effect called __________.
  23. Deep-ocean currents below 100 meters are driven by __________, in a process known as __________.
  24. The global-scale system of deep-ocean currents is sometimes called the __________.
  25. Global ocean circulation resulting from deep-ocean currents is vital to the world’s food chain because __________.
  26. Global ocean circulation resulting from deep-ocean currents could be disrupted by global warming if__________.
  27. Ocean and coastal current velocities are typically are measured in __________, which is equal to about ________standard (or “statute”) miles per hour or about __________ kilometers per hour.
  28. Current measurements made with drifters are termed “__________ measurements,” while measurements of the speed and direction of a fluid at a single point are termed “__________ measurements.”

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