Satellites help find deep ocean whirlpools

Mar 21, 2006

An international team of scientists says they've developed a method of using satellites to peer beneath of ocean's surface to study underwater currents.

Using sensor data from several U.S. and European satellites, researchers from the University of Delaware, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Ocean University of China have developed a method to detect super-salty, submerged eddies called "Meddies" that occur in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain and Portugal at depths of more than a half mile.

Such warm, deep-water whirlpools are part of the ocean's complex circulatory system, and help drive the ocean currents that moderate Earth's climate.

The research marks the first time scientists have been able to detect phenomena so deep in the oceans from space, using a new multi-sensor technique that can track changes in ocean salinity.

The initial results of the project are reported in the April issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Physical Oceanography.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Mysterious molecules in space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

17 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

19 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

19 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Recommended for you

Tidal forces gave moon its shape, according to new analysis

4 hours ago

The shape of the moon deviates from a simple sphere in ways that scientists have struggled to explain. A new study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz shows that most of the moon's overall shape can be explained by taking into ...

Evidence of a local hot bubble carved by a supernova

6 hours ago

I spent this past weekend backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, where although the snow-swept peaks and the dangerously close wildlife were staggering, the night sky stood in triumph. Without a fire, ...

User comments : 0