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Lunar Currents

Landsat 8 passed over Broad Sound on the Queensland, Australia coast at 10 in the morning on October 29, 2020 just as the moon-driven tide was cresting. Suspended sediments and phytoplankton make flow lines into the sound readily visible with some islands and shallow spots shedding vortex streets from their downstream sides.

The timing and large range of the tides in this region results not only from the rotation of Earth in the moon's (and sun's) gravity field, but also from the shape of the coast and shallowness of the nearby Great Barrier Reef.

Click on the above image to get a much larger (57 megabyte) version showing a broader portion of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.


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