On either side of the equator, in all ocean basins, there are two west flowing currents: the North and South Equatorial. These currents flow between 3 and 6 kilometers per day and usually extend 100 to 200 meters in depth below the ocean surface. The Equatorial Counter Current, which flows towards the east, is a partial return of water carried westward by the North and South Equatorial currents. In El Nino years, this current intensifies in the Pacific Ocean.
Flowing from the equator to high latitudes are the western boundary currents. These warm water currents have specific names associated with their location: North Atlantic - Gulf Stream; North Pacific - Kuroshio; South Atlantic - Brazil; South Pacific - East Australia; and Indian Ocean - Agulhas. All of these currents are generally narrow, jet like flows that travel at speeds between 40 and 120 kilometers per day. Western boundary currents are the deepest ocean surface flows, usually extending 1000 meters below the ocean surface.
Flowing from high latitudes to the equator are the eastern boundary currents. These cold water currents also have specific names associated with their location: North Atlantic - Canary; North Pacific - California; South Atlantic - Benguela; South Pacific - Peru; and Indian Ocean - West Australia. All of these currents are generally broad, shallow moving flows that travel at speeds between 3 and 7 kilometers per day.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the east flowing North Pacific Current and North Atlantic Drift move the waters of western boundary currents to the starting points of the eastern boundary currents. The South Pacific Current, South Indian Current and South Atlantic Current provide the same function in the Southern Hemisphere. These currents are associated with the Antarctic Circumpolar (West Wind Drift). Because of the absence of landmass at this latitude zone, the Antarctic Circumpolar flows in continuous fashion around Antarctica and only provides a partial return of water to the three Southern Hemispheric ocean basins.
Description courtesy of: PhysicalGeography.net