Phenomena

Foam and Flow

Fluid dynamics often play out on a scale that’s difficult to appreciate from our earthbound perspective, but fortunately, we have tools to aid us. This natural-color satellite image shows Rupert Bay in Quebec, where fresh water stained with sediments and organic matter (right) flows into the saltier water of James Bay (left). White filaments at the edges of these mixing regions are likely foam floating atop the water. The turbulence caused at the intersection of the two bodies of water whips up organic films to form bubbles. The white on the far left of the image is ice chunks still floating in James Bay when the image was taken in early June. Click through to admire the high-resolution version. (Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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