Benguela current

From Academic Kids

The frigid waters of the north-flowing Benguela current move from the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica along the west coast of Africa as far as Angola.

Its boundaries

The Benguela current forms the eastern boundary of the South Atlantic subtropical gyre. Its sources include Indian and South Atlantic subtropical thermocline water; saline, low-oxygen tropical Atlantic water; and cooler, fresher subantarctic water. The Benguela current is 2-300 km wide and widens further as it flows north. Its western, seaward edge is ill-defined, with many temporary and seasonal eddies.

Its effect

Where the icy Benguela and the warm, south-flowing Agulhas current mix, there is a richly productive marine ecosystem off the Cape of Good Hope but storms and turbulence above.

The cold current creates the desert conditions of the shore of Namibia, and the persistent fogs of the Skeleton Coast. A Benguela El Niño effect has been detected, less intense and less frequent than the Pacific Ocean phenomenon.

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