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Just looking for another knowledgeable eye to see if they see any glaring errors with my ocean currents. The world is the same size as Earth, rotates the same direction, same prevailing winds, only difference is the continents.

Thanks in advance!

world ocean currents map

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome Iris. Please take our tour and refer to the help center for guidance, as and when. Enjoy Worldbuilding. (Nice map). $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2021 at 1:46

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This looks solid, the only one I'm not so sure about is the cold current coming back down the south west coast of the larger northern continent (in the loop close to the centre of the map). I'm not sure that current is going to be on the surface long enough to undergo sufficient evaporative cooling and solution concentration to sink before it gets back to the equator. Rather you would see a surface gyre of warm water in continuous circulation. This is going to mean that the surface water is high in salt, similar to the Sargasso Sea. Also similar to the Sargasso there will often be little to no wind across the area and anyone wanting to get to the other side will have to hop around the coastline rather than sailing across, unless magic or technology is available to facilitate the crossing.

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    $\begingroup$ Ooh yeah I think I agree with you there. That actually works out well because that continent is going to be my "unknown" isolated continent and relatively unsettled, so it being inaccessible in some ways is good. Thank you for the input! $\endgroup$
    – inspiris
    Nov 7, 2021 at 7:32
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't that cold current from the NW disrupt the gulf current in the NW continent or vice a versa? On Earth, with the isthmus of Panama, the heat transfer allows for polar ice caps, which didn't exist 5 million years ago due to heat transport differences. I'd think without a blockage between the two continents, there would be a lot more heat transfer between the east and west oceans. Unless that channel is very shallow $\endgroup$
    – Sonvar
    Nov 30, 2021 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Sonvar The two currents could cross each other without too much energy transfer, cold currents tend to run kilometres deep while the warm currents are shallow, or even surface, features. Equally due to the depth at which the cold current in the NW will be running the channel need not be particularly shallow to block thermal leakage. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Dec 1, 2021 at 6:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Sonvar Panama is an odd case, the isthmus changed the route of the Humboldt Current so the east branch was no longer forced to the surface entering the shallow waters of the Caribbean. So now no collides with the Gulf Stream and cools the mid Atlantic. Because of this and other changes that stemmed from it there is a greater degree of temperature stratification with latitude, the equator is hotter and the poles became cold enough for permanent ice caps. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Dec 1, 2021 at 6:52
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I'm dubious about the little loop at the equator of the western continent. There's not enough temperature differential across it to drive much.

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An important adjustment to this would be taking into consideration a Global Conveyor Belt similar to the one ocean currents on Earth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation?wprov=sfla1

My guess would be that, given the geography, there would not one, but two such belts loops, flowing trough the two large water bodies separated by the continents with a North Pole Circular Current.

Determining where Deep sea water is formed and where it upwells would help establish the strength of certain surface currents that behave like the Gulf Stream on Earth. In the image you provided the warm surface current flowing northeast between the two northern continents ( let's call it x)seems to be similar.

The reason why I'm mentioning thermohaline circulation is because a decrease in Global Conveyor Belt strength that "feeds" the Gulf Stream is thought to make it diverge south from the coast and possibly run "shorter". That could mean that in similar conditions "x" might not reach the coast of the northwestern continent and cool down halfway. Anyway, given that there are also other factors that influence ocean dynamics that are not stated and referring strictly to surface currents your map is very accurate and realistic.

enter image description here

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