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Ocean frontal boundary

Ocean Fronts

Like the atmosphere, the ocean has fronts where masses of different temperature and salinity come together. Colder and/or saltier seawater is heavier than warmer, less salty water, and so it will slide beneath a lighter mass when the two collide. As the heavier water mass sinks, flotsam in it accumulates along the frontal boundary. Plankton also accumulates, drawing predatory animals to feed. WHOI scientists are studying feeding grounds along fronts that form in spring in the Great South Channel south of Cape Cod. (Photo by David Fratantoni, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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