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Question number: 27 Posted: 25 Nov 2004 10:14
Topic: Various Creator: Bente Lorentzen
Status: Answered Scientist: Odd Aksel Bergstad
Written by: Bente Lorentzen 25 Nov 2004 10:14

Are there current all the way down to the bottom? And how fast is it?

Written by: Odd Aksel Bergstad 25 Nov 2004 10:39

Water is always in motion, but generally the current strengths decrease with depth. On the abyssal plains of the vast ocean baisns, the motion is very slow, but along the ocean margins and the mid-ocean ridges currents can be rather stronger. Around islands and seamounts currents can accellerate and form eddies and outher special features.

Surface currents are wind-driven, but other factors such as tides and heat exchange are also important. The rotation of the Earth also strongly influences current patterns.

On there is a topic on environmental issues that has an overview article with more in-depth information.

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