Coriolis

Coriolis effect can be described as an inertial force which was named after a French Engineer Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis who discovered it. It can also be referred to as Coriolis force and it allows calculation of the effects on moving bodies viewed from earth which is rotating. He showed that when ordinary Newton motion laws in moving bodies are to be used in a frame that is rotating as a reference with an inertial force which is acting to the right direction of the motion of body for counterclockwise rotation of the reference frame as well as the left for clockwise rotation then they must be included in the motion equations. This Coriolis force effect can be said to be an apparent deflection of the object’s path moving within a coordinate system that is rotating. (DeFuente, 2004)

The Coriolis effect is usually the most visible in an object’s path which is moving longitudinally. Further he noted that a any object moving along the earth following the longitudinal line will face some deflection towards the right direction when on the Northern Hemisphere but while at the southern hemisphere it will be deflected to the left.

Two reasons were attributed to Coriolis effect. These were the eastward rotation of the earth and the velocity of tangent of any certain point on the earth is a latitude function this is to mean that at the poles the velocity value is actually zero but increases towards the equator and becomes at its maximum while at the equator. To illustrate this when we project cannon in a northward direction from the Equator the projectile will be seen to land eastward of the original North path. This can be explained that the cannon was moving faster towards the East at the Equator than it was moving to the target at its North.

We therefore conclude that the deflection caused by Coriolis force is affected by three things namely the object’s motion, Earth’s motion and the latitude effect. Coriolis force has effect on prevailing winds and storm rotation and it also affects the oceanic currents rotation.

Upwelling can be referred as a phenomenon in the ocean whereby water that is rich in nutrients, cooler and dense is driven by wind towards the surface to replace the water than is warm and lacking in nutrients. Upwelling is not a constant process but it varies from one place to another at different times. Its activity is influenced by variations in the winds direction and strength; coastline’s topography also creates a certain dynamic upwelling pattern.

In Pacific ocean for instance the intensity of upwelling is somehow weaker and seasonal. They however get a lot of nutrients from the canyons on the deep water in the nearshore. Upwelling has adverse impacts on the sea activities for instance by bring nutrient rich cold water to the surface of the sea seaweed growth is encouraged as well as other sea plants. This in return provides adequate food for other sea animals like fish, sea birds and other marine mammals.

By ensuring that marine life is well fed it boosts economic activity in these areas by encouraging high fishing. (Parsons, 1997) Another major effect of upwelling is animal movement. For instance, when tiny larvae are produced by the bigger fish and left to grow the upwelling may move them to other far regions which at times may not be conducive for their survival and may lead to their death. This shows that upwelling has both positive and negative impacts on sea life. (Reynolds, 2001)

Reference

Defuente, S. (2004). The Coriolis effect. California: Hard pressed publications

Jennings, S., K., M.J., Reynolds, J.D. (2001) Marine Fisheries Ecology. Oxford: Blackwell Science Ltd

Lalli, C.M., Parsons, T.R. (1997) Biological Oceanography: An Introduction. Oxford: Elsevier Publications.

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