Why the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Don't MixFeb 18, 2020
When you look at the seas and
oceanson the map, you might think that they just flow into each other. It seems that there is only one big ocean, and people just gave different names to its parts. Well, you'll be surprised how vivid the edges between them are! The border between the Pacific and Atlantic
oceansis like a line between 2 worlds. It seems as if the two oceans meet on an invisible wall that does not allow them to flow and mix their waters. Why the hell does it happen? We know for sure that there is no invisible wall inside, and water is water.
What could interfere with your mix? What happens is that the water can also be different. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans have different density and chemical composition, the level of salinity and other qualities. One can see by their color that they are far from being the same. The boundaries between two bodies of water with different physical and biological characteristics are known as oceanic clines. The haloclines - borders between waters with different salinities - are the most spectacular, and this is what we see when the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet. The famous explorer Jacques Cousteau found this when he was diving in the Strait of Gibraltar.
Layers of water with different salinity seemed to be divided with a transparent film, and each layer had its own flora and fauna. Haloclines appear when the water in one ocean or sea is at least 5 times saltier than the other. You can create a halocline at home by pouring some colored seawater or saltwater into a glass and then adding some fresh water on top. The only difference is that your halocline will be horizontal and oceanic haloclines will be vertical. If you remember a few basic things from physics, you could argue that a denser liquid should ultimately end up lower and a less dense one higher.
If that were true, the border between the two oceans would not look like a vertical line but a horizontal one, and the difference between their salinity would be less obvious the closer they get to each other. So why doesn't it happen here? Well, first, the difference in density of the water in the two oceans is not so great that one of them goes down and the other goes up. And yet it is enough not to let them mix. Still, another reason is inertia. One of the forces of inertia known as the Coriolis force influences objects when they move on the system of axes which, in turn, also moves.
In simpler words, the Earth is moving, and all moving objects on it will be affected by the Coriolis force, deviating from their course. As a result, objects on the Earth's surface do not move in a straight line, but deviate clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern. But the Earth moves slowly, the planet takes a whole day to make a complete turn around its axis. That is why the Coriolis effect becomes evident only in long time intervals: with cyclones or oceanic flows. And that is why the direction of the flows in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is different.
He also doesn't let them mix. Another important difference between the water of the two oceans is the strength of the connection of the molecules, or the tensile strength of the surface. Thanks to this force, the molecules of matter are joined together. The two oceans have totally different surface tensile strength, and it doesn't allow them to mix either. Maybe they could gradually start mixing over time, but since the flows in them are in opposite directions, they just don't have time to do this. We think it's just water in both oceans, but their separate molecules meet for a brief moment and then drift with the flow of the ocean.
But do not think that only the Atlantic and Pacific oceans do not get along! There are many places on the planet where the water of the two seas or rivers does not mix. There are also thermoclines: borders between waters of different temperatures, such as the warm water of the Gulf Stream and the much colder North Atlantic Ocean. Chemoclines are the most amazing. These are borders between waters that have different microclimate and chemical composition. The Sargasso Sea is the largest and best known chemocline. It is a sea within the Atlantic Ocean that has no shores but you have no chance of not noticing it.
Let's take a look at other more spectacular clines on the planet. 1. The North and Baltic Seas These two seas meet near the Danish city of Skagen. The water in them does not mix due to the different density. Sometimes you can see the waves of the 2 seas collide with each other, forming foam. And yet its water gradually mixes, which is why the Baltic Sea is slightly saline. If no water had come from the North Sea, it would have been a huge freshwater lake. 2. The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. They are found in the Strait of Gibraltar and have different densities and salinities, so their water does not mix too much. 3.
The Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean The place where they are located is near the Antilles and it seems that someone has painted the water with different shades of blue. Another place where these two meet is the Eleuthera island of the Bahamas. The water of the Caribbean Sea is turquoise and the water of the Atlantic Ocean is dark blue. 4. The Suriname River and the Atlantic Ocean meet near Paramaribo in South America. 5. The Uruguay river and its influx These two are located in the province of Misiones in Argentina. One of them is cleared to be used in agriculture, and the other turns almost red due to loam during the rainy season. 6.
The Rio Negro and Solimões rivers (part of the Amazon River) 6 miles from Manaus in Brazil, the Rio Negro and Solimoes rivers flow down into each other but do not mix for about 2.5 miles. The Río Negro is dark and the Solimoes – light, they have different temperatures and flow rates. 7. Mosel and Rhein They are located in Koblenz, Germany. The Rheine has clearer water and the Mosel darker. 8. Ilz, Danube and Inn The crossing of these 3 rivers is located in Passau, Germany. Ilz is a small mountain river on the left, the Danube is in the middle, and Inn is the light river on the right.
Inn is wider than the Danube here, but still its inflow. 9. The Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers meet in India. Alaknanda is dark and Bhagirathi is light. 10. Irtysh and Ulba are in Kazakhstan, near the city whose name you will never be able to pronounce, and neither will I. Try it. (Ust'-Kamenogorsk.) The Irtysh has clean water, and Ulba – turbid. 11. The Jialing and Yangtze rivers meet in Chongqing, China. The Jialing is clean and the Yangtze is brown. 12. Irtysh and Om These two rivers flow into Omsk, Russia. The Irtysh is cloudy and the Om is pure and transparent. 13. The Chuya and Katun rivers meet in the Altai Republic, Russia.
The Chuya water here has an unusual cloudy white color and looks dense and thick. Katun is clean and turquoise. Flowing into each other, they form a single two-color flow that does not mix for some time. 14. The Green and Colorado Rivers Where they meet is Canyonlands National Park in Utah, USA. Colorado is brown and Green is, yes, green. The corridors of these rivers cross rocks with different chemical compositions, which is why they have so much color contrast. 15. The Rhône and Arve rivers flow into Geneva, Switzerland. The Rhône is a pure river that flows from Lake Geneva, the Arve is turbid as it gets its water from the glaciers of the Chamonix valley.
So water, do you think about all this water? Of course it's a sick joke, like many of my mispronunciations of those river names. Hey, if you learned something new today, please like the video and share it with a friend! And here are some other great videos that I think you'll enjoy. Just click left or right and stay on the bright side of life!
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