Friday, August 28, 2009

Ocean Bottom Pressure

This map shows changes in ocean bottom pressure measured by NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace).

Red shows where pressure varies by large amounts, blue where it changes very little. Just as knowing atmospheric pressure allows meteorologists to predict winds and weather patterns, measurements of ocean bottom pressure provide oceanographers with fundamental information about currents and global circulation. They also hold clues to questions about sea level and climate.

The pressure at the bottom of the ocean is determined by the amount of mass above it.

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