29 March 2012

Earth's ocean surface currents

This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decmeber 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.

This visualization was produced using NASA/JPL's computational model called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2.. ECCO2 is high resolution model of the global ocean and sea-ice. ECCO2 attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans.The ECCO2 model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x. 
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, via Neatorama.


  1. I don't think I'd go so far as to describe it as 'visceral', although it is plenty cool and interesting. it reminds me of Van Gogh's "Starry Night".

  2. This site for real-time wind patterns is pretty neat too: http://hint.fm/wind/index.html

  3. Definitely interesting, and rather Van Gogh-like on occasion.

  4. I wonder if China Container ships use these when sailing to America?


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