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This is the third Volume of the six-Volume Open University set. Each Volume is required by students as a relevant part of the Open University course but designed so that it can equally be used as an individual textbook. The essential role played by atmospheric processes in the control of both surface and deep currents in the oceans is stressed throughout the Volume. Once the importance of the Mesoscale circulation became recognised during the 1970's, it was no longer possible to think of major ocean currents simply as "rivers in the sea"; and this book explains why. All the basic topics and concepts essential to a proper understanding of ocean circulation are covered, including Coriolis force, vorticity, geostrophic currents, continuity, the exchange of heat and water across the air-sea interface and so on. However they are introduced using simple language, with minimal emphasis on mathematics, and always with reference to actual current systems of the real ocean. Each Volume in this set is well laid out and copiously illustrated with full colour photographs, graphs and graphics. Questions to help develop arguments and/or understanding can be found in the text and at the end of each chapter, with worked answers provided at the back of each Volume. Each chapter also concludes with a summary to help consolidate understanding before the next chapter is begun.