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Get caught in the currents

Australia's Cool Seas - where Antarctica touches the Equator!

One of the dominant ocean features that influences southern Australia's cool seas is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). The ACC travels clockwise around the Antarctic continent, bringing cool water and some Antarctic nutrients towards the coasts of Africa, South America, New Zealand and Australia. Australia's southern coast, which runs east-west, is heavily influenced by this currrent.

Two other major ocean currrents also influence the cool seas of southern Australia. In the west, the Leeuwin current travels southward from the equator, mixing with the southern ocean around Rottnest Island, one of the larger of Australia's 12,000 islands.

This current brings warm, Indian Ocean influences down to southern Australia, including a number of sub-tropical marine species. Rottnest Island and Korea's Cheju Island share this mixing of temperate and tropical waters. The other current is the East Australian Current, which brings warmer waters from the Pacific Ocean southward as far as the waters of Bass Strait, between Victoria and Tasmania. You can view the latest images of the East Australian Current on-line (updated by the University of Miami every day).

Links to Rottnest Island, East Australian Current and more...

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