Caribbean current

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Caribbean Current

A strong, swift current passing from east to west through the Caribbean Sea.

The current is the major pathway for water from the Southern into the Northern Hemisphere in the global ocean conveyor belt. It is also an element of the western boundary current system of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre and thus associated with high speeds and eddy shedding: 0.2 m s-1 in the Grenada Basin; 0.5 m s-1 in the Venezuela, Columbia, and Cayman Basins; and 0.8 m s-1 near Yucatan Strait. Eddies can produce occasional current reversal from westward to eastward in all basins. Most of the water from the Caribbean Current leaves through Yucatan Strait, but a small amount returns eastward from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic as the Caribbean Countercurrent.

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