Do lakes have dangerous currents?

The location and strength of variable currents are much more difficult to predict. Underwater currents can form in lakes, rivers and oceans, and there are many reasons why they occur. Strong currents, for example, are always present along piers and breakwaters, and are found where rivers and streams enter the lake. In many lakes, however, there are also currents.

A current is simply flowing water and can be caused by various factors. Currents in lakes are caused by winds at the surface, by temperature patterns and bathymetry, and by the "Coriolis force".

Are there strong currents in lakes?

The mechanism of the transfer of wind momentum to water momentum is still the subject of extensive research. This motion causes free-floating markers to move elliptically, with the period depending on latitude. A small-scale circulation phenomenon that has attracted much attention on lakes is the Langmuir circulation. Lake loading is proportional to a power of wind speed, usually taken to be 2, although it obviously varies with wind speed, wave conditions and atmospheric stability.

Strong currents on the Great Lakes have caused more than 150 drowning deaths since 2002, according to researchers.


Amie Pross

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