Phenomena

Stirred Up Sediment

Swirls of blue in the Great Lakes mark locations of recent autumn storms whose winds have stirred up sediment in the lakes. The silt and quartz sand acts as a tracer particle, making visible the circulation patterns of the lakes. In contrast, the green streaks mark locations of calmer winds and warmer temperatures where algae blooms have grown. Note the fundamental dissimilarity in their structures. Blue eddies turn over and mix in a fashion reminiscent of convective instabilities while the green blooms are far more uniform in structure. #

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