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31 Jan

Ocean Currents

In our geography notes on the hydrosphere, we have seen the major movements of the ocean water. They are – waves, tides and ocean currents. Having covered the fundamentals, we shall see in this post, a super-fast way to learn the details of ocean currents.

Names, direction, nature….and what not! Well, you might have heard so many names like Kuroshio current, Oyashio current, Peru current etc. Is Kuroshio a cold current or warm current? Where is its location?

It’s not easy to remember all the names, location and type (warm or cold) of ocean currents – without the right guidance. UPSC often ask questions in Prelims and Mains from the topic of ocean currents. So, what is the short-cut approach to learn fast? Well, wait and see.

How to learn the names of ocean currents, faster? SA IAS has prepared a mind map from the above map. We have shown the major current systems in the three oceans – Atlantic ocean, Indian ocean and Pacific ocean – from left to right. Continents are represented in ‘Green’, warm ocean currents in ‘Red’, and cold ocean currents in ‘Blue’. Hope it’s easy now!

What are the points to remember?

  • ➢ There are gyres in each of the oceans – The Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ocean. (Any large system of rotating ocean current, particularly those involved with large wind movements is called as a Gyre.).
  • ➢ Current direction: In general, currents in the northern hemisphere travel in the clockwise direction in a gyre, while currents in southern hemisphere travel in the anticlockwise direction ( the only exception is the current direction in the Indian ocean, which changes seasonally.)
  • ➢ The ocean current movement in the north-Atlantic gyre, as well as north-Pacific gyre, is clockwise, while the gyres in the Southern hemisphere are anti-clockwise.
  • ➢ Current temperature: In general, currents in the western part of every continent are cold (the exceptions are mentioned in the article on movements of the ocean water).
  • ➢ Currents coming from the polar region are generally cold.
  • ➢ Currents near to equator are generally warm.
  • ➢ There is a counter-equatorial current, which moves from west to east (warm).
  • ➢ The west-wind drift moves from west to east (cold) Now, that’s the only quick notes you need to learn the flow pattern of ocean currents. With the above points, you can find the nature of almost all currents. Let’s analyse the major ocean currents.


For More Details About Ocean Currents refer PDF..!


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