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Seafloor currents

Water Flowing Undersea

Concealed from view, the bottom of the ocean is covered with of mountains and canyons as steep and deep as the Grand Canyon. Scientists have had indications that powerful ocean currents flow at the bottom of these canyons, but many of these appear to be moving in the opposite direction from what we would expect on land, where rivers run down the sides of mountains toward sea level. Instead, some seafloor currents run up the sides of mountains. These newly detected flows could play a major role in directing global ocean circulation. (Illustration by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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