Table of Contents
How does the moon affect the ocean currents?
The moon’s gravitational pull forces the ocean to bulge outwards on opposite sides of the earth, which causes a rise in the water level in places that are aligned with the moon and a decrease in water levels halfway between those two places.
What causes the water current?
Ocean currents can be caused by wind, density differences in water masses caused by temperature and salinity variations, gravity, and events such as earthquakes or storms. Surface currents in the ocean are driven by global wind systems that are fueled by energy from the sun.
How are tides and currents similar?
Tides involve water moving up and down; currents involve the movement of water back and forth. Currents are driven by several factors. Tides are one of these. Wind, the shape of the land, and even water temperature are other facts that drive currents.
Which way do tides flow?
From the movement of the tidal bulge due to the pull of the moon and sun, it appears that the tidal crest should move around the globe from east to west. But as you can see in the animation, they actually rotate around the outside edges of ocean basins, up and down the coastlines.
How does the moon and the sun affect Earth’s oceans?
The Sun causes tides just like the moon does, although they are somewhat smaller. When the earth, moon, and Sun line up—which happens at times of full moon or new moon—the lunar and solar tides reinforce each other, leading to more extreme tides, called spring tides.
How do tides and currents work?
Tidal currents occur in conjunction with the rise and fall of the tide. The vertical motion of the tides near the shore causes the water to move horizontally, creating currents. As the tides rise and fall, they create flood and ebb currents.
What happens to the tidal currents when the Moon sun and Earth are at right angles to each other?
Neap tides, which also occur twice a month, happen when the sun and moon are at right angles to each other. This means that high tides are a little higher and low tides are a little lower than average. These are called spring tides, a common historical term that has nothing to do with the season of spring.
How are tidal currents affected by the Sun and Moon?
Tidal currents are the only type of current affected by the interactions of the Earth, sun, and moon. The moon’s force is much greater than that of the sun because it is 389 times closer to the Earth than the sun is. Tidal currents, just like tides, are affected by the different phases of the moon.
What are the currents of the moon called?
When the moon is at full or new phases, tidal current velocities are strong and are called “spring currents.” When the moon is at first or third quarter phases, tidal current velocities are weak and are called “neap currents.”.
How does the spin of the Earth affect ocean currents?
Earth’s spin on its axis affects both winds and ocean currents. Because it spins from west to east (counter-clockwise), winds and currents moving over it get their paths redirected depending on which side of the equator they’re on. This is known as the Coriolis Effect.
What kind of currents move in opposite directions?
When it moves toward the sea away from the land, it “ebbs.” These tidal currents that ebb and flood in opposite directions are called “rectilinear” or “reversing” currents.