Gyre

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Gyre'

Gyre Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    gyre n : a round shape formed by a series of concentric circles [syn: coil, whorl, roll, curl, curlicue, ringlet, scroll]
Gyre Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Gyre \Gyre\, n. [L. gyrus, Gr. ?, cf. ? round.] A circular motion, or a circle described by a moving body; a turn or revolution; a circuit. Quick and more quick he spins in giddy gyres. --Dryden. Still expanding and ascending gyres. --Mrs. Browning.
Gyre Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Gyre \Gyre\, v. t. & i. [Cf. OF. gyrer, girer. See Gyrate.] To turn round; to gyrate. [Obs.] --Bp. Hall. Drayton.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Gyre'


A gyre in oceanography is any large system of rotating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis Effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, which determine the circulation patterns from the wind curl (torque). The term gyre can be used to refer to any type of vortex in the air or the sea, even one that is man-made, but it is most commonly used in oceanography, to refer to the major ocean systems.

The following are the five most notable gyres:

Tropical gyres are less unified and tend to be mostly east-west with minor north-south extent.

The center of a subtropical gyre is a high pressure zone. Circulation around the high pressure is clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere, due to the Coriolis effect. The high pressure in the center is due to the westerly winds on the northern side of the gyre and easterly trade winds on the southern side of the gyre. These cause frictional surface currents towards the latitude at the center of the gyre. The build-up of water in the center of the gyre creates equatorward flow in the upper 1,000 to 2,000 m (3,300 to 6,600 ft) of the ocean, through rather complex dynamics. This equatorward flow is returned poleward in an intensified western boundary current.

[See more about Gyre at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]

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Gyre Sample Sentences in News


  • Exhibits at the Anchorage Museum
    CURRENT EXHIBITIONS All exhibitions are included with museum admission unless otherwise noted. Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, on view through Sept. Read more on this news related to 'Gyre'
  • EarthTalk: Plane debris
    Charles Moore, the captain who discovered an ocean trash gyre roughly the size of Texas swirling around in the ocean between Hawaii and California, told the Associated Press: "It's like a toilet bowl that swirls but doesn't flush." Read more on this news related to 'Gyre'
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    Charles Moore, the captain who discovered an ocean trash gyre roughly the size of Texas swirling around in the ocean between Hawaii and California, told the Associated Press: "It's like a toilet bowl that swirls but doesn't flush." Read more on this news related to 'Gyre'

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