Phenomena

Turbine Wakes in the Sea

What we we build always has an impact on the environment around us. The white dots you see in the image above are an array of offshore wind turbines, standing in waters 20 to 25 meters deep. The brownish lines extending from each turbine show the underwater wakes of the turbines, colored by the sediment they’ve picked up. As with trees in a snowstorm, the currents flowing past the base of the turbine likely form a horseshoe vortex that lifts up the sediment into the wake. Because the tides in this area reverse direction every six hours, these sediment plumes can appear quite dynamic in satellite imagery, frequently changing strength and direction. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

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