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Atmospheric Vortices near Guadalupe Island
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Atmospheric Vortices near Guadalupe Island

April 2, 2003
These MISR images from June 11, 2000 (Terra orbit 2569) demonstrate a turbulent atmospheric flow pattern known as the von Karman vortex street. This phenomenon is named after aerodynamicist Theodore von Karman, who theoretically derived the conditions under which it occurs. The alternating double row of vortices can form in the wake of an obstacle, in this instance the eastern Pacific island of Guadalupe. The rugged terrain of this volcanic Mexican island reaches a maximum elevation of 1.3 kilometers. The island is about 35 kilometers long and is located 260 kilometers west of Baja California.


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