Satellites help find deep ocean whirlpools

March 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: Satellites helping to preserve the health and beauty of coral reefs

Related Stories

NASA totals rainfall from destructive Tropical Cyclone Gita

February 14, 2018

Tropical Cyclone Gita dropped a lot of rain as it strengthened into a major hurricane in the South Pacific Ocean. NASA's IMERG calculated totals based on satellite observations that revealed over a foot (305 mm) of rain had ...

Farewell to a pioneering pollution sensor

February 14, 2018

On Jan. 31, NASA ended the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer's (TES) almost 14-year career of discovery. Launched in 2004 on NASA's Aura spacecraft, TES was the first instrument designed to monitor ozone in the lowest layers ...

Image: Atlantic ship tracks

February 15, 2018

The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite takes us over the Atlantic Ocean close to Spain and Portugal where the sky not only features clouds but also criss-cross tracks from maritime vessels.

Tracking ocean salinity from space using colour

February 14, 2018

Measuring salinity at the ocean's surface is important for tracking global ocean circulation as well as local ecosystem health. A research team from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu have proposed a new method to measure sea ...

Recommended for you

Unprecedented study of Picasso's bronzes uncovers new details

February 17, 2018

Musee national Picasso-Paris and the Northwestern University/Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts (NU-ACCESS) have completed the first major material survey and study of the Musee national Picasso-Paris' ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.