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Straits of Florida
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Straits of Florida

August 20, 2004
This Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image centers over of the Straits of Florida, south-southeast of the North American mainland, on the Tropic of Cancer. The Straits of Florida lie between the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. They connect the Gulf of Mexico with the Atlantic Ocean, extending for about 180 km between the Florida Keys, U.S., on the north and Cuba and the Bahamas on the south and southeast. The light green-bluish colours of the sea indicate shallow waters and high rates of sedimentation. In fact, the strait carries the Florida Current, the initial part of the Gulf Stream, which flows eastward out of the Gulf of Mexico with a mean surface velocity of 6.5 to 9.5 km per hour.