Ship Wakes

Stern-Wake Dump, Mozambique

Stern-Wake Dump, Mozambique

Flight 61C; l9S, 39.8E, 11:34:38 GMT, 14 Jan 1986

Observations of ships dumping oil or other refuse into their stern wakes show that the practice exists throughout the shipping lanes of the world, as indicated by the five photographs presented here. Many dozens of other examples exist.
    Although the amount of petroleum products pumped into the sea is likely to be significant, no one can yet provide evidence indicating whether or not the practice has any lasting influence on the chemistry of the ocean. Of greater importance to those interested in the view of ships from space is that the smooth, wide, and sometimes bright wake can be seen easily and provides the necessary reduction of the capillary waves in the wake to permit ready observation by microwave imaging sensor systems.

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