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Copper River Wind

Strong winds often blow from the Copper River Valley in southern Alaska, and those winds are sometimes loaded with dust. Most of the dust in the river valley was frozen over on March 5, 2020 when the above Landsat 8 scene was collected, so what is all of that glistening white that looks like salt sprinkled over the Gulf of Alaska from the river's delta (upper left)? If you look at a larger version (50 megabytes) of the image, you will see that the wind is driving away from shore the swells whose southern faces reflect sunlight back to the sensor (the glisten), and that the wind is strong enough to cause the waves to break making whitecaps that look a bit like salt in the image above.


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