Internal Waves
Equatorial Indian Ocean

Internal Waves, Equatorial Indian Ocean

S13-33-1248 (100 mm)
Flight 41C; 2N, 77E, 12 April 1984

Internal waves in the deep open ocean are less well known than those near coasts or in enclosed seas. Some oceanographers even doubted the existence of such waves until astronauts began to return with extraordinary photographs. One such picture was obtained from the Challenger as the shuttle crossed the equator southwest of India. These waves, regular in wavelength and with crests as long as 150 kilometers, have been documented in all tropical oceans, though they seem to be more prevalent in the Indian and Pacific oceans than in the equatorial Atlantic.

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