Falkland Current

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The Falkland Current (also called Malvinas Current or Falklands Current) is a cold water current that flows northward along the Atlantic coast of Patagonia as far north as the mouth of the Río de la Plata. This current results from the movement of water from the West Wind Drift as it rounds Cape Horn. It takes its name from the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas). This cold current mixes with the tropical Brazil Current in the Argentine Sea (see Brazil–Falkland Confluence), giving it its temperate climate.[1]

The current is an equatorward flowing current that carries cold and relatively fresh subantarctic water. The Falkland Current is a branch off of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. It transports between 60 and 90 Sverdrups of water with speeds ranging from a half a meter to a meter per second. Hydrographic data in this area is very scarce and thus various hydrographic variables have a great deal of error. It is interesting to note that the Falkland Current is not simply a surface current like the Brazil Current but actually extends all the way to the sea-floor. Typical temperatures for the current are around 6 °C, with a salinity of 33.5–34.5 psu.[2][3]

See also


  1. Ecorregión Mar Argentino (Spanish)
  2. Vivier, F. and C. Provost, 1999b: Volume transport of the Falkland Current: Can the flow be monitored by TOPEX/POSEIDON ? Journal of Geophysical Research, 104, 21105-21122.
  3. Vigan, X., C. Provost, and G. Podesta, 2000: Sea surface velocities from sea surface temperature image sequences 2. Application to the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence area. Journal of Geophysical Research, 105, 19515-19534.