The ocean is a major component in the hydrological cycle which exchanges water between land, sea and air. In Nova Scotia the marine influence is apparent in the character of the physical landscapes and biotic communities inland, at the coast and offshore. Although the sea bottom is important in supporting marine plants and various forms of animal life, most biological activity takes place near the top of the water column.
The sea is constantly in motion. Much of the motion seems at first chaotic -- the turbulence of waves on a rocky shore and the changing pattern and intensity of waves on the sea surface. Underneath this exterior, there is an order that begins to become apparent only in special instances to the shore-based observer. These orderly movements are known collectively as currents. Tidal currents, some driven by the highest tides in the world, are a feature of every coastal area and consist of a regular in-and-out flow strong enough to influence the movements of boats and the activities of marine operations. Ocean currents influence climate, biological processes and biological productivity.
This Document Includes:
Circulation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence
Circulation on the Scotian Shelf
Circulation in the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine
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T3.5 Offshore Bottom Characteristics
T6.2 Oceanic Environments
T6.3 Coastal Aquatic Environments
T7.1 Modifying Forces
T8.1 Freshwater Hydrology
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