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32. Eleuthera Island and Exuma Sound
TThe shallow aquamarine waters of the Great Bahama Bank make a beautiful picture from space. We see through the clear Atlantic Ocean to the light reflecting from the carbonate limestone seafloor of Exuma Sound, a deeply etched precipice where water channels to the depths of the surrounding ocean basin. Studies of space photography over a number of years reveal that the shaping of the deep sand channels that flow into Exuma Sound are modified by hurricane erosion extending tens of meters down to the floor of the continental shelf, rather than by the erosion of constant water flow.
From the southernmost point on Eleuthera Island streams a cloud tail, created by condensation that results when air currents traveling over the ocean are forced to rise on meeting land. This process can be compared to the propagation of oceanic island wakes, such as that illustrated in slide #11, which result similarly when the presence of an island disrupts ocean current flow.
STS-6, April 1983. Picture #6-45-097