Internal Gravity Waves Forming (and Deforming) Clouds

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Internal waves at 30.0S, 134.0E (near Australia) from shuttle mission STS048 at altitude of 307 nauts

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Internal waves in wake of Galapagos Islands from shuttle mission STS053 at altitude of 201 nauts

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More internal waves in wake of Galapagos Islands from shuttle mission STS059 at altitude of 115 nauts

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More internal waves in wake of Galapagos Islands from shuttle mission STS059 at altitude of 115 nauts

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Internal waves spotted by a satellite (details unknown)

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Internal waves in lee of an island spotted by AVHRR satellite on Feb. 1, 1996. (this image courtesy of Brett N. Lesh, Scripps Institute of Oceanography)

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Internal waves appear to be generated by a dynamic instability. Photographed by me in north-west Indiana, December 28, 1994.


Internal Gravity Waves in the Sea

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Internal waves generated by tidal flow through the Straight of Gibraltar. Photo taken during shuttle mission 41G, 12:21:48, Oct 10, 1984.

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More internal waves in the Straight of Gibraltar. Photo taken during shuttle mission 41G, 12:04:04 GMT, Oct 11, 1984. Note, the surface elevation varies by only about 20cm, but the amplitude of the waves well below the surface can be many tens of meters!

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More internal waves in the Straight of Gibraltar. Photo taken during shuttle mission 41G, 12:04:06 GMT, Oct 11, 1984.

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Internal waves generated by tidal flow over the shelf near Hainan Island. Each wavepacket is produced during high tides every 12 hours. Photo taken during shuttle mission STS-7, Jun 23, 1983.


Vortices in the Sky

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Vortices over Atlantic Ocean at 31.0N, 18.2W from shuttle mission STS047 at altitude of 166 nauts

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Dipole vortices near Baja Peninsula from shuttle mission STS069 at altitude of 199 nauts

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Vortex near Tampico (22.0N, 97.0W) from shuttle mission STS062 at altitude of 161 nauts

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Vortices of different scales (details unknown)


More of these pictures are available from their source sites:

NASA Photo Gallery
Shuttle Photos of Oceans
Space Shuttle Earth Observations Project
Bruce's home page

Fluid Dynamics Laboratory home page


Bruce R. Sutherland, Jan 97,