Swirling Pollen

This photo captures the chaotic mixing present in a simple puddle. Pine pollen strewn across the puddle’s surface acts as tracer particles, revealing some of the motion of the underlying water. As wind blows across the puddle, it moves the water through the formation of ripples and by shearing the surface. That deformation on the top of the puddle will cause further motion beneath the surface. With time and changing wind direction, the resulting pattern of flow can be very complex! (Photo credit: K. Jensen, original)

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