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Ocean Currents

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Ocean Currents Answer Key

1. 
The Gulf Stream is a cold, low-salinity ocean current that flows north-westward along the west coast of South America from the southern tip of Chile to northern Peru.
  1. True
  2. False
2. 
Surface and near-surface ocean currents are powered primarily by wind.
  1. True
  2. False
3. 
Deep ocean currents typically move water in a north-south direction.
  1. True
  2. False
4. 
Water on the ocean's surface always moves in a clockwise pattern.
  1. True
  2. False
5. 
Water moving parallel to the shore is called
  1. tidal current.
  2. beach drift.
  3. rip current.
  4. longshore current.
6. 
Which percentage best estimates the velocity of a wind driven current compared to the velocity of the wind controlling the current?
  1. [math]<10%[/math]
  2. [math]20 - 40%[/math]
  3. [math]60 - 80%[/math]
  4. [math]>90%[/math]
7. 
The two major controlling factors for deep ocean currents are
  1. salinity and wind.
  2. pressure and salinity.
  3. wind and temperature.
  4. temperature and salinity.
8. 
The Northern Hemisphere surface currents flow in a                                    direction and the Southern Hemisphere surface currents flow in a                                    direction.
  1. clockwise, clockwise
  2. clockwise, counterclockwise
  3. counterclockwise, clockwise
  4. counterclockwise, counterclockwise
9. 
The                     causes ocean currents to be deflected from their path.
  1. surface currents
  2. tides
  3. Coriolis effect
  4. deep ocean currents
10. 
Compare and contrast ocean surface and subsurface currents. Include information about what powers the currents, total volume of water they encompass, and name at least one of each type of current.
  • Answers will vary - Students should show an understanding that all currents move water horizontally, but surface currents are powered by wind and subsurface currents are powered by density. Subsurface currents account for the majority of ocean water (90% compared to 10% for surface/near-surface). Examples will vary (surface - Gulf Stream; California Undercurrent)
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