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MORE ABOUT CURRENTS

Place a transparent coffee pot filled with water on a hot plate. When it starts to heat, place a few drops of food coloring in the water. Observe the flow patterns.

Next, move the pot so that only one side of it is on the heating unit, and add a few more drops of coloring. You will see a definite current in the water.

What you are seeing illustrates how vertical currents move in the ocean. Vertical currents move from ocean depths to the surface and north and south from the equatorial region (hot) toward the poles (cold).

Also discuss why the movement takes place. Heated water is less dense and is lighter than cooler water, so it rises and is replaced by cooler water.

Is it like heated air that rises?

Here's another one:

Fill four identical bottles, two with salt water (4 spoonfuls of salt per cup) and two with tap water. Use food coloring to color one bottle of tap water and one bottle of salt water. Place a card over the mouth of each bottle of colored water. Invert the bottle of colored tap water over the bottles with uncolored salt water and the bottle of colored salt water over the bottle of uncolored tap water.

Carefully remove the cards, and observe what happens. Since there is no temperature difference between the salt water and the tap water, you will realize that the mixing is caused by a difference in salinity.

In a similar way salinity causes the movement of currents in some parts of the ocean.

 
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