Phenomena

Painting in Sediment

Satellite image of islands in the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka.

Pale plumes of sediment flow off these islands in the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka. As waves erode the land, currents and tides carry the sediment outward, shaping it into swirls and eddies. I rarely tire of satellite images like these because there are always subtle new details of flow to notice. The photos are much like paintings, with layer after layer to decipher the closer you look. (Image credit: A. Nussbaum; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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