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An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of
An ocean current flows for great distances and together they create the
Surface oceanic currents are sometimes wind driven and develop their typical clockwise spirals in the
Deep ocean basins generally have a non-symmetric surface current, in that the eastern equatorward-flowing branch is broad and diffuse whereas the western poleward flowing branch is very narrow. These
Deep ocean currents are driven by density and temperature gradients.
Surface currents make up only 8% of all water in the ocean, are generally restricted to the upper 400 m (1,300 ft) of ocean water, and are separated from lower regions by varying temperatures and salinity which affect the density of the water, which in turn, defines each oceanic region. Because the movement of deep water in ocean basins is caused by density-driven forces and gravity, deep waters sink into deep ocean basins at high latitudes where the temperatures are cold enough to cause the density to increase.
Ocean currents are measured in