Ecosystem Reference
Ecosystem California Current
Type Sea/Bay/Gulf
Salinity saltwater
Other Names
LME SAU No 3. Northeastern Pacific, from Canadian boarder to tip of Baja California. LME2002, LME2006, SAU 2008. 45° N 23° N - 130° W 110° W
Location Map California_Current.png
Size Ref
River Length Area 2215065 km2 Drainage Area
Average Depth Max Depth Ref
Surface 18.0 °C Map29.gif
100 Meters Depth 14.0 °C Map30.gif
Description The California Current flows south along the west coast of North America, extending from the Columbia River to central Baja California. (MacCall, 1986). The California current is a classic eastern ocean coastal upwelling system with a narrow to moderate continental shelf and generally broad, diffuse, equatorward surface flow. (Wooster and Reid, 1963; Parrish et al., 1983) The California Current forms the eastern limb of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, flowing equatorward off the western United States and northern Mexico, exhibiting a mixture of filaments, mesoscale eddies, and counterflows. Wind-driven surface Ekman transport away from the coast is superimposed on the geostrophic current, resulting in upwelling centered near Cape Mendocino in northern California and off Baja California (Punta Baja) during the spring and summer. (Reid et al., 1958; Bakun, 1993; Bakun and Nelson, 1977) Major eddies occur in the warmer Southern Califorina Bight (SCB) south of Point Concepcion, which is influenced by islands, and in Sebastian Viczaino Bay, Baja, California. (MacCall, 1986) (
Comments on faunal list Area from SAU (November 2015).
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