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Land breeze and sea breeze explained

Updated on April 16, 2017

Intro :

Wind from sea is known as sea breeze and the wind from land is known as land breeze. Both are opposite in direction as land breeze is from land to sea and sea breeze from sea to land. Both are a result of heating up of earth's surface due to sun's rays and the flow of air from high pressure region to low pressure region.

Basic things explained ;

To understand the occurrence of land breeze and sea breeze, one should know about how pressure variation matter, about movement of air and about the relative heating of sea and land.

1) Pressure

In simple terms pressure is force per unit area. In case of a gas, like atmosphere when the amount of gas available is less, lesser the pressure and this region where there is less particles is called low pressure area. Similarly, more air particles gives us high pressure area.

2) Movement of air :

We all prefer to stay in a place where there is less pressure and problems. Similarly, even air has the same feeling. Air wants to stay in the region of low pressure. Hence, obviously, air will move from high pressure to low pressure.

Therefore, the movement of air is always from high pressure region to low pressure region.

3) Relative heating of sea and land :

This is the main concept which causes the two breeze.Specific heat of a substance is the amount of heat required to raise it's temperature by 1 degree centigrade.

One thing all of you might not be knowing it that specific heat of water is way higher than that of land. Hence the land gets heated up faster causing the air to heat up.

Explanation :

What happens here is that when sun's rays come in contact with earth's surface, it heats up the surface. When the surface gets heated, the air just above it also gets heated up and becomes less dense. As a result, the warm air goes upwards creating a low pressure area in its original position. Hence air from a higher pressure area comes and fills this low pressure area. And as a result, there is flow of air. Thus, the breeze.

Applying the explanation :

The speciality of land is that it gets heated up faster than water and hence it creates the low pressure area during daylight. But during night, land cools faster than water and thus there is a low pressure area created above sea water. Hence there is flow of air and the flow from sea to land and land to sea are called sea breeze and land breeze, respectively. Relative heating is due to difference in their specific heat.

Summary :

Hence, in the above way land and sea breeze are created. Hence, during day sea breeze and during night land breeze can be experienced.

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