Phenomena

Icy Swirls

Rafts of sea ice follow swirling eddies in this satellite image of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Just as with phytoplankton blooms and sediment, this thin sea ice can be moved by wind and currents to reveal hidden flow patterns. Experimentalists use many similar diagnostics that introduce bubbles, particles, smoke, and other tracers into flows to visualize motion that’s otherwise invisible. (Image credit: J. Stevens/NOAA/NASA; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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