At 5,500 kilometres, the Leeuwin Current is the world's longest coastal or boundary current and arguably Australia's most influentual natural feature. Originating at North West Cape, it flows southward along the West Australian coast before curling eastward around Cape Leeuwin and flowing all the way to Tasmania. The Leeuwin Current has a profound impact on the make-up of marine ecosystems, species' lifecycles, fisheries, and even climate.
This informal talk reviews a simple analytic model of the Leeuwin Current and and idealized OGCM study that extends it. It then presents an on-going analysis of high-resolution, gridded, hydrographic product, CARS, to infer the connection of the Leeuwin Current system with the offshore, interior flow. The observational results partially agree and partially disagree with our simple theory.