I was designing a continent and I placed it pretty far south of the equator and far from basically everything (just below 20 degrees south) and have now run into an issue with the ocean currents on the eastern side.

The planet is Earth-like, so the western side doesn't have the any issues, the south oceanic currents hit the continent from the west and split off towards the polar (just south of 60 degrees south and off the map) and equatorial currents (reaches around 10 degrees south on the eastern side of the continent before curving northwards), eventually joining both.

On the other side of the continent, the south oceanic currents begin a (relatively) short distance from the continental shelf and flow eastwards, being joined by a cold current formed by the polar current running into the continent. This just leaves the warm current from the north to complete the currents.

The problem is this: the south equatorial current doesn't ever get diverted to cover the north and northeastern coastline, so now I have around 2000 miles of coastline between 20 and 40 degrees south that don't have a clear source for a major ocean current.

I would like some suggestions on how to deal with this problem. If there needs to be a current in the north and northeast side of the continent (and I'm presuming this is the case), then where should it come from?

I had briefly considered simply extending the cold current from the west over the tip of the continent, but that would be extremely silly with it going against the prevailing winds for several thousand miles. Simply adding a warm current going south doesn't really make much sense as, without moving the equatorial currents closer to the continent, the gyre created would be open.

I could possibly justify it by having the missing current be formed by water rushing in to replace water blown eastwards by the wind, but this seems like a stretch. As far as I know, no map of currents has the same set up, at least not in sufficient detail for me to see similarities.

Here is a rough map of the continent, including prevailing winds and a few ocean currents. A very rough map detailing the continent, known ocean currents, and prevailing winds.

  • $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ Hello Blurbles, welcome to Worldbuilding. When you have a moment, please take our tour and read through the following two Help Center pages to understand how to use our Stack (help center and help center). (a) You're allowed one and only one question. You've asked at least two. (b) You may not ask questions that can conceivably be written as book-length answers. Asking how anything will affect climate violates that rule. Could you edit your Q to ask one, specific question? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 5:44
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Also, this Q would benefit tremendously from a map showing your continent and the current design of currents around it. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't realise there were actual Gods building worlds on Worldbuilding! $\endgroup$
    – n00dles
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


You tend to get both surface and sea floor currents. For most fictional worlds, the surface currents are what you need to make your desired climate happen. The (land and sea) surface also tends to be where the stories are.

Assume that some unspecified sea mounts are directing cold, deep currents a certain way, until they reach the coastline and well up. From there, they have to so somewhere.

  • $\begingroup$ This is one potential solution, but I don't think that would not solve the issue of the unclosed gyre this would create. Indeed, several of the solutions I have considered creates this problem, which, as far as I know, can only be solved by either moving the continent towards the equator or moving the equatorial current rather far south. $\endgroup$
    – Blurbles
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 3:59

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