The Leeuwin Current
Coral reefs at Rottnest Island… tropical fish off Perth’s coast… this could only occur if the ocean’s temperature was warm. This warm water is provided by the southerly flowing Leeuwin Current, which also transports the eggs, larvae and juveniles of all kinds of oceanic life, and affects the movement and distribution patterns of many marine species.
Weakest in summer and strongest in autumn and winter, the Leeuwin Current contributes to Western Australia’s rainfall patterns, and winter air and ocean temperatures. Due to strong southerly winds in summer, the Leeuwin Current weakens while the cooler, inshore northward-flowing currents are at their strength. This includes the Capes Current flowing between Cape Leeuwin and Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Current that flows north of Shark Bay past the North West Cape.
In This Section
- Sea-surface temperature animation from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
- Going with the Flow
- CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
- Poster: Who Goes with the Flow?
- Article: Predicting the Leeuwin System