Wind is a major limiting factor in the marine ecosystem. Wind affects waves, dune system, sediment transportation, currents, and weather. Wind has profound effects on the waves. As wind move over the surface of the oceans, the abrasions between the wind and the water surfaces lead to formation of waves. The speed of wind also affects the size of the waves formed. When the speed of the wind is very high, the abrasion between the wind and the surface of the water increases leading to huge waves. In the event that the speed of the wind is low, the waves formed are low and move slowly over almost the calm ocean (“Exploring Florida: teaching resources for science,” p. 2).
Wind plays a critical role in transportation of sediments in the marine ocean. Wind influence transporting of sediments directly or indirectly. Indirectly, wind cause waves that erode, transport and deposit sediment in the marine ecosystem. In this respect, wind is the driving force of the agent that transports sediments. Wind also influences the upwelling of water that leads to sediments moving from the bottom of the oceans to the surface. In addition, sediments may move along the coast line due to upwelling. Ocean currents are as result of wind and also help in movement of sediments along the coast (“Environmental studies,” n.d).
Wind plays a critical role in the formation of dunes. Once the sand begins to pile up, ripples and dunes begins to form. Such marks the first stages of formation of sand dunes in a marine ecosystem. Wind move sand from one side pilling it on the other such that it forms a steep slope that ends up collapsing due to its weight. The collapsing makes the sand dune stable at about 30-34o. The degree is called the angle of response.
As the repeated cycle on the sand piling from one side and then collapsing on the other, the dunes migrates in the direction of the prevailing wind. The speed of the wind determines the rat of migration of the dunes (USGS, n.d). Several dunes may be formed at he same time and migrate in the direction of the prevailing wind.
Wind also influences currents. The drag on the surface of the ocean brought by wind influence the ocean currents by determining the direction the ocean current flows. The current in the upper oceans are driven by wind. What this means is the ocean current flow in the direction as the wind. The major ocean current in the world are in the direction of the wind. Wind on the surface of the ocean moves depending on the temperature variation. For this reason, the current tends to follow the same trend (Lecture 13. Global Wind Patterns and the Oceans.”).
Weather pattern in the marine ecosystem are greatly influence by wind. Wind plays critical roles in the temperature distribution on the marine ecosystem. First, wind brings in ocean currents that have influence depending on the characteristics of the ocean current. If it is a warm current, it shall have a warming effect on the ocean. If it is a cold ocean current, it shall have a cooling effect. However, the most profound effects are the sea and land breezes. During the day, the surface gains temperature more than the sea surface leading to low pressure on the land and high pressure on the sea. Therefore, wind blows from the ocean to the land forming the sea breeze that has a cooling effect. The reverse happens at night when the sea surfaces cools at a slower rate than the land. The sea surface experience low pressure and wind blows towards the sea from the land.
“Sediment Transport.” Accessed from http://geology.uprm.edu/Morelock/transport.htm on November 23, 2014.
Exploring Florida: teaching resources for science. Accessed from http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/teacher/science/mod2/resources/waves.pdf on November 23, 2014
USGS. Coasts: Sand and Dunes. Accessed from http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/coast/dunes/ on November 23, 2014.
“Lecture 13. Global Wind Patterns and the Oceans.” Accessed from http://www.atmos.washington.edu/academics/classes/2012Q4/101/lect13_overheads.pdf on November 23, 2014