“Van Gogh” Perpetual Ocean Visualization

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March 29, 2012 by Helen Hill

Perpetual Ocean – Ocean surface currents from the MIT/NASA-JPL ECCO2 collaboration as visualized by the NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio

The movie “Perpetual Ocean” from NASA’s JPL – which has been going a little viral over the past few days – shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through December 2007. The animation does not include a narration or annotations; the goal of its creators was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.

This visualization was produced from results of simulations using MITgcm as part of the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean project which involves collaborations between investigators at institutions across the country and beyond .

The high resolution global model attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans.The model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.

NASA Scientific Visualization Studio link
MITgcm Facebook Page

Selection of media coverage

Canadian breakfast TV anchors love eddies (April 3)
La Nasa come Van Gogh nel disegno delle correnti oceaniche (March 29)