Why doesn't (e.g.) the equatorward North Atlantic Deep Water bend more to the west?

Is it maybe because the water tends to move relatively slowly and the magnitude of the Coriolis effect depends on the speed of the flow of water?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think your assumptions might be wrong. The thermohaline circulation is predominantly a balance between Earth rotation effects (Coriolis effect) and the baroclinic pressure gradient (the horizontal changes in density). Most of the thermohaline circulation is in near geostrophic balance. The reason you don't see a direct Coriolis effect on the currents is that that rotational force is balanced by other forces, in this case predominantly pressure gradient forces. $\endgroup$
    – arkaia
    Sep 29, 2022 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ That was what I figured the answer would be. You could say the same thing about the jet stream (it bends and turns left and right, but doesn't seem to be constantly turning right [in NH] because of Coriolis). But the whole thing is Coriolis is why it has the shape it does (wind flowing parallel to isobars rather than the otherwise expected across them from high to low). So in both these situations, the flow direction on the map is continually caused by coriolis $\endgroup$ Sep 30, 2022 at 14:45


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