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Graveyard of the Pacific

Rockets' Wet Glare

What looks like a nighttime fireworks display on a fine summer night actually couldn't be further from the truth. This spring, a team led by WHOI senior scientist Rocky Geyer on a project funded by the Office of Naval Research intentionally exposed themselves to some of the worst that the "Graveyard of the Pacific" had to offer so that they could study the interactions between waves and currents in extremely energetic, river-mouth environments and also experience the conditions that U.S. naval personnel regularly encounter. The region near the mouth of the Columbia River has witnessed an average of just over one shipwreck per year for the past two centuries. During the trip, the team weathered 16-foot waves and 7-knot currents. Said Geyer: "It was great!" (Photo by Rocky Geyer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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