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Image from a numerical simulation of an idealized
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Image from a numerical simulation of an idealized, wind-driven ocean basin

May 5, 2010
Image from a numerical simulation of an idealized, wind-driven ocean basin, calculated on massively parallel computers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Such computations capture the complex spatio-temporal variability seen in the Earth's oceans, allowing a better understanding of the Earth's climate system.

Pictured is the vorticity at the surface of the ocean, with red indicating clockwise rotation and blue indicating counter-clockwise rotation. Many small coherent eddies are visible. These eddies can rotate in either direction and can endure for a year or more. The sharp boundary between the broad red and blue regions is a fast-moving meandering jet, analogous to the North Atlantic Gulf Stream.

This research was funded by National Science Foundation grant OCE 98-18839. (Year of image: 2001)


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