North Pacific Drift


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North Pacific Drift

 

(also North Pacific Current), a warm current that flows eastward from the island of Honshu to North America, between 35° and 42° N lat. The western section, which flows from 140° to 160° E long., is often regarded as a branch of the Kuroshio Current. The North Pacific Drift flows along the boundary between tropical and polar waters, forming a wide transitional zone. Surface temperatures range from 7° to 16°C in February and from 18° to 23°C in August. The velocity of the current decreases from west to east from 0.5 to 0.1 m/sec. The flow rate is 15 million to 35 million cu m per sec. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, the North Pacific Drift splits up into the Alaska Current, which flows northward, and the California Current, which flows southward.

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