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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Islands Make Wakes...who knew?

islands can produce wakes like a boat

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, June 29, 2013/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, art and design

Like a saliboat on a calm sea, a canoe on a lake, or a vessel on any body of water, islands also can produce a wake behind their rocky structure.

Wikipedia defines: "a wake as the region of disturbed flow downstream of a solid body moving through a fluid, caused by the flow of the fluid around the body. In liquids such as water, a wake is created when a craft moves through the water; as the water cannot be compressed, it is displaced instead, resulting in a wave."

Islands obviously are stationary but can also create wakes. NASA captured windsock-like tails stretching away from the Canary Islands. The wavy plumes result from winds roughening or smoothing the ocean surface against the islands topography. The rocky, volcanic islands create shadow-like form—blocking, slowing, and redirecting the air flow just like the bow of a boat.

   
Boat on Fjord (credit: Wiki-Commons)             Canary Islands Wakes (credit: NASA)

The resulting images of wakes produced by boats or islands are an impressive example of fluid dynamics. They can be exceptionally beautiful, like art photography in a gallery, by themselves.

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