Alaskan stream

From Glossary of Meteorology



Alaskan Stream

The continuation of the Alaska Current along the southern side of the Aleutian Islands.

The distinction between the Alaskan Stream and the Alaska Current is gradual, and the two currents are sometimes regarded as one. They are, however, of different character, the Alaska Current being shallow and variable but the Alaskan Stream reaching to the ocean floor. Despite its modest speed of 0.3 m s-1, it is a western boundary current. Most of the water of the Alaskan Stream feeds directly into the Oyashio. Some of its flow enters the Bering Sea between the Aleutian Islands (most of it between 168° and 172°W) and follows a cyclonic path before feeding into the Kamchatka Current, thus eventually also contributing to the Oyashio.