Would there be ocean currents in sulfuric acid oceans?

For my world the oceans are made of sulfuric acid because of the high amount of sulfur in the atmosphere, and I was wondering whether there would be ocean currents in said oceans?

The atmosphere has 12 atm of pressure and temperature of 55 °C.

  • $\begingroup$ Assuming there is wind or the planet rotates I'd assume so, even expect so. $\endgroup$
    – Lemming
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ There is wind and the planet does rotate. $\endgroup$
    – Katze
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ Depending on how pure said sulfuric acid is, you could also get something akin to thermohaline circulation, but with e.g. water instead of salt. I think. I am not a chemist. $\endgroup$
    – TLW
    Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a moon/ is the place this is happening a moon? This will drive tides, keeping the ocean from coming into any kind of equilibrium and make for a pretty active ocean. Furthermore, winds drive surface water currents, so that right there is enough to keep at least some currents going. $\endgroup$
    – Justin T
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


Currents are produced by gradients in the fluid hosting them: it can be a gradient in temperature, pressure, concentration, density, potential energy.

As long as at least a net gradient is present, a current will start. The substance subject to the gradient will only influence the rate at which the current will move, through its viscosity: hot water and hot molasses flow at different rate.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ How come you never post things about your hot molasses ocean world, Dutch? And the Pancake People? Because in my heart I am there. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 18:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This answer is almost universally true. Except ... the question says the air temperature is "55 °C" - no range, no variation. Over millions of years the ocean will have equilibrated to precisely that temperature, and now all the currents will have stopped. :) [Alright, I suppose salt leaching from land may still keep some flowing. It's hard to calm an ocean...] $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeSerfas 55°c is the average temperature of the planet. The temperature ranges from 53°c to 57°c $\endgroup$
    – Katze
    Commented Nov 13, 2021 at 22:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Willk, I posted something related here and here $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 4:19

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