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Strait of Gibralter, Soliton

14. Strait of Gibralter, Soliton

This 250-mm-lens photograph concentrates on the youngest soliton seen in slide #13, passing from west to east through the Strait of Gibraltar. Aircraft and ground-truth vessels working in cooperation with this shuttle mission confirmed that the solitons normally stood no more than 3 to 4 centimeters above the ocean surface, and none were more than 10 centimeters high. The subsurface amplitude of the waves, however, was assessed as high as 60 meters.

At the time this photograph was taken, winds of 22 knots were traveling through the Strait from east to west. This has tended to flatten the capillary wave crests to the north of the soliton, but they still stand out clearly to the south, where the water is sheltered from the wind by the Moroccan landmass.

STS-41G, October 1984. Picture #17-34-098

Right click here to download a high-resolution version of the image (8.84 M)


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