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Fluid Science

A Fluid Science

WHOI scientists-emeriti Jack Whitehead and Stan Hart (left to right) conduct a lab experiment in geophysical fluid dynamics—the fundamental physics of oceans, rivers, magma, atmospheres, and other fluid media. Here in 1991, they inject a flow of light syrup (dyed blue) into a tank of Karo syrup to simulate plumes of molten rock deep in Earth's mantle, which rise buoyantly to Earth’s surface and erupt to create islands such as Hawaii. Hart, a geochemist, has studied the chemical makeup of plumes and in 1999 found Vailulu'u, a seafloor volcano that eventually will become a new Samoan island. Whitehead has also investigated how ocean currents form and flow. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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