First off, I'm really not good with designing ocean currents (I find the topic confusing and hard). But for my world which is basically just earth over 100 million years in the future, I need to design some ocean currents for it so I can make realistic biomes. I tried using Artifexian's videos along with some images on the internet for examples of what other people do, I think I've finally designed plausible-enough ocean currents.

But I would really like someone to take a look at it and tell me if its realistic. I apologize if its hard to read the direction of my currents as I started doing the map in Wonderdraft and once I'd gotten that far, I couldn't just switch to another program to redo everything with ocean currents and so had to use what I had at my disposable. But basically the red currents are going pole-ward and the blue currents are going equator-ward with black being neutral currents (if you can read the arrows, just follow which direction they're pointing). But I would especially appreciate if someone takes a look at the problem areas I've highlighted. With the blue highlighted area, I feel like something's wrong (that one of the gyres doesn't follow the clockwise/counter-clockwise rule with the one beneath it) and would like any suggestions for how best to fix it.

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    $\begingroup$ I suggest you search online for ocean current simulator. There's stuff out there that will give you a good insight. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2021 at 21:04
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    $\begingroup$ No model is perfect but obey Kirchhoff. What flows in must flow out. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2021 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ @EveryBitHelps both cold currents are headed towards the equator and converge there, NOT diverging. $\endgroup$
    – TheNamed
    May 27, 2021 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ @TheNamed: No time for a good answer. Keep in mind that there are surface as well as deep sea currents. and upwelling as well as dawndraft. The driving force are density differences (temperature and salinity), and coriolis force. Take a look at the ocean conveyor belt, aka en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation. See also boundary currents (around the main basins), and wind induced transport (Ekman Transport). There would be so much more to say, but I do not have the time :-) Maybe it helps somebody else. $\endgroup$
    – user78828
    May 28, 2021 at 8:40
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    $\begingroup$ You can also have a look at the paleomap project (Scotese). Besides reconstruction of past arrangements, I belive they applied some fantasy and also did a projection of plate motion into the future, as a bonus so to say. More: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_current, chronosphere-portal.org/docs/paleomap, Keep in mind, for a plausible global conveyor belt there are surface and as well as deep curents, and in the end it must be closed. Some handwaving will surely be needed. $\endgroup$
    – user78828
    May 28, 2021 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


The broad strokes of the modern day currents are driven by the large scale atmospheric circulation (Hadley cells, the westerlies and the trade winds etc). This structure is related to the Sun and the rotation of the Earth, and 100 million years is soon enough that these variables don't change much.

Looking at today's ocean currents, there are clockwise (north) and counter-clockwise (south) loops around the 30th latitudes in each of the major oceans. In the blue region, this means the westerly current will crash into the continent, split up, and create two circular loops, the northern one of which moves counter-clockwise. Above the smaller yellow continent, there will probably be something like the Norwegian Gulf stream above it, and a counter-current east above the 60th.

The green ocean looks complicated. There will probably be multiple rotating cells, like in the Mediterranean. They may even change by the season in some places.

On the web you will find maps of past currents from periods such as the Mesozoic, to give intuition.


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