Ocean Currents of Indian Ocean

The current systems of the Indian Ocean are largely controlled and modified by landmasses and monsoon winds. Indian Ocean being surrounded by the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Australia does not present most favourable conditions for the development of consistent system of ocean currents. The currents in the northern Indian Ocean change their flow direction twice a year due to north-east and south-west monsoon winds.

North-East Monsoon Current (Warm)

North-east monsoon winds blow from land to the ocean during winter season in the northern hemisphere and thus westward blowing north-east monsoon currents are produced in Indian Ocean. This current flows to the south of 5°N latitude. Besides, some independent currents originate in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian sea and flow in south-westerly direction.

S.W. Monsoon Current (Warm)

There is complete reversal in the direction of monsoon winds during summer season. The north-easterly direction of winter monsoon winds becomes south-westerly during summer season in the northern hemisphere. This reversal of direction of monsoon winds also reverses the direction of ocean currents of Indian Ocean during summer season. North-east monsoon ocean currents disappear and south-west monsoon ocean currents are developed. The general direction of monsoon currents is from south-west to north-east but several minor branches emerge from the main branch and move in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. The Indian counter current developed during winter season disappears due to this current.

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