COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Ocean Currents - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128160596

Ocean Currents

1st Edition

Physical Drivers in a Changing World

Authors: Robert Marsh Erik van Sebille
Paperback ISBN: 9780128160596
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 1st June 2021
Page Count: 380
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Ocean Currents of the World: Physical Drivers in a Changing World opens with an introduction to ocean currents, covering basic principles of cause and effect, measurement and modeling, etc. The book is made up of a sequence of chapters covering distinct aspects of contrasting ocean currents: broad and slow, deep and shallow, narrow and swift, large-scale and small-scale, low latitudes and high latitudes, and moving in horizontal and vertical planes. Through this approach, the authors cover a range of applications, from local to global, with considerable geographical context. Each chapter concludes with an assignment and accompanying resource, thus helping readers apply the information.

Key Features

  • Presents applications to natural phenomena, showing how ocean currents shape marine ecosystems
  • Helps researchers understand the distribution and adaptation of life in the oceans
  • Addresses societal challenges, specifically how ocean currents contribute to climate change impacts and disperse pollutants (e.g., plastic)
  • Includes end-of-chapter assignments, suggesting how students might apply their understanding of ocean currents


Students and Researchers in Marine Biology, Biological Science, Marine Science, Oceanography, Environmental Science, Geography, and programs involving marine policy and law, climatologists and scientists studying climate change

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to ocean currents - basic principles of cause and effect, measurement and modelling tools, etc.
    2. Global gyres/Ekman drift - slow background flows and evolution/plastics/volcanic pumice/tsunami debris
    3. Global western boundary currents and life - swift flows and marine life; dispersal of turtle hatchlings
    4. Global eastern boundary currents and life - European Slope Current; Californian, Humboldt and Benguela Currents; links to upwelling and shifting ecosystems
    5. Currents near the Equator and fast trans-basin flows - links to tropical climate variability (especially El Nino)
    6. Connecting Oceans with upper ocean flows - Agulhas and Tasman leakage (connecting Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans)
    7. Polar currents, icebergs and sea ice - the Antarctic Coastal Current and the Labrador Current (conveying icebergs); the East Greenland Current (and sea ice)
    8. Connecting shallow (warm) and deep (cold) currents with climate - the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation; the global Conveyor Belt circulation
    9. Seasonal flows in shallow shelf seas (around the world) and implications for pollution/biology
    10. Indigenous (ancient) knowledge of ocean currents - e.g., colonisation of Australia, Polynesia
    11. Utility of ocean currents for seafarers in recorded history - e.g., use of Gulf Stream for trans-Atlantic trade
    12. Research Challenges and the Future - How might new technologies help us to develop a more complete understanding of ocean currents? How might currents change with climate, how might they change climate?


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2021
1st June 2021
Paperback ISBN:

About the Authors

Robert Marsh

Professor Robert Marsh holds a Chair in Oceanography and Climate at the University of Southampton. With disciplinary expertise in Physical Oceanography, he has a wide range of experience across ocean and climate science, and specifically an in-depth knowledge of ocean currents. Examples of applied studies include the influences of ocean currents on sea turtle hatchlings, volcanic pumice and icebergs. He has extensive experience of undergraduate and postgraduate oceanography teaching, both in the classroom and in the field. He is lead or co-author of 76 peer-reviewed publications, with an h-index of 30 (Web of Science, October 2017).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor in Oceanography, Head of Physical Oceanography Research Group, University of Southampton, UK

Erik van Sebille

Dr Erik van Sebille is an Associate Professor in Oceanography at Utrecht University, investigating the time scales and pathways of the global ocean circulation. His research focuses on how ocean currents transport heat and nutrients, as well as marine organisms and plastics between different regions. He currently leads the “Tracking Of Plastic In Our Seas” (TOPIOS) project, funded by European Research Council Starting Grant. He won the 2016 European Geosciences Union (EGU) Ocean Division Outstanding Young Scientist Award. He is lead or co-author of 69 peer-reviewed publications, with an h-index of 19 (Web of Science, October 2017).

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor in Oceanography, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Ratings and Reviews