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Ocean Currents

Eddy formation in the Gulf Stream System

  • Currents –no smooth curves or straight lines; will meander and sometimes close on themselves to form eddies.
  • Eddies rotate and retain their characteristics for weeks or months. 
  • Eddies form at the surface or at depth and vary from tens to hundreds of kilometers in size
  • Cyclonic eddies – counterclock- wise rotation and upwelling on northern hemisphere
  • Anticyclonic eddies – clock- wise rotation and downwelling on northern hemisphere 

  • Southern hemisphere: reversed