The currents of the South Atlantic Ocean are part of a well defined anti-clockwise circulation. The South Equatorial Current flows in a broad belt from east to west with its axis roughly along latitude 6°S. The part of this current which is between the equator and latitude 6 "S is reputed to be one of the most constant currents in the world. The set is always in a westerly direction, usually between WNW and WSW, the average rate being about 1 knot. Further south, to about latitude 20 °S, there is the weaker
South Subtropical Current also setting to the west. The South Equatorial Current extends across the equator to about latitude 4°N and one branch of it combines with the North Equatorial Current to form a strong current setting towards the West Indies. The other branch is deflected to the south by the South American continent and combines with the South Subtropical Current to form the Brazil Current. This current sets strongly parallel to the coast until it reaches latitude 25 "5, where part of it turns east. The remainder carries on as far as latitude 35 °S, where it also turns east to join the vast body of water which sets eastward and is generated by the Southern Ocean Current. This broad belt of cold water sets eastward in the southern hemisphere to the south of all continents. After passing
Cape Horn, a branch of this current turns to the northeast into the South Atlantic and forms the Falklands Current.
On the African side the main ocean circulation of the South Atlantic is completed by the Benguela Current. This current sets north along the coast of Africa and is a continuation of the Agulhas Current after the latter has passed the Cape of Good Hope. The Benguela Current is reinforced by some of the Southern Ocean Current. North of latitude 20'S the Benguela Current sets away from the African coast fanning out into the Subtropical and South Equatorial Currents. Near the African coast, the set of the current is always northerly and from February to April it reaches as far as the equator.
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