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The Atlantic Meets the Mediterranean

The Atlantic Meets the Mediterranean

August 27, 2018

Through the narrow Strait of Gibraltor, water from the Atlantic Ocean enters the Mediterranean Sea. The Atlantic water is less salty and less dense than saltier Mediterranean water, so the two water masses create a “front.” At the front, the denser Mediterranean water sinks beneath the Atlantic water. The lighter water rises toward the sunlit surface, bringing with it nutrients that fuel the growth of plankton. MIT-WHOI Joint Program student Mara Freilich and her advisor Amala Mahadevan have been studying this key phenomenon to learn where and how productive areas of the ocean can be found. (Illustration by Eric S. Taylor, Google Earth, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Creative Studio)

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