Phenomena

Vortex Wake in Quebec

These satellite images show Rupert Bay in northern Quebec. Sediment and tannins have stained the bay’s waters various shades of brown, which helps show the dynamic flows of the area. Rivers empty into the bay, but the tide appears to be coming in from the northwest as well. The flow is just right to create a wake of alternating vortices off a tiny island near the center of the bay. This pattern is known as a von Karman vortex street and often appears in the wake of spheres, cylinders, and, yes, islands. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory; submitted by Adam V.)

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