Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 90: Nov-Dec 1993

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Band Of Turbulence

That the ocean deeps also have their "weather" is evident in the following report. While reading it, be aware that it is only the surface manifestation of larger phenomenon which, like the bulk of an iceberg, is concealed from the observer.

July 29, 1992. Equatorial Atlantic. Aboard the m.v. Enterprise enroute from Saldanha Bay to Las Palmas.
Band of turbulance at sea

"At 1930 UTC a bold linear echo was suddenly noted on the radar screen, as if from a singular, large swell wave running along a line bearing approximately 290-110 and moving towards the ship in a south-southwesterly direction, see sketch. Although it was night-time, it was light enough to determine visually at a distance of about 1 n.mile, that it was not a large swell wave. At 1947 the vessel was passing through the echo which extended out to 4 n.mile on either side of it and, on observing the water around the ship with the aid of an Aldis lamp, it was noted that there was a great deal of turbulence present. The Enterprise, fully laden with iron ore, suddenly veered 6 to port of her heading of 325, indicating the strength of the turbulence. The sea prior to this point was only slightly rippled by a light SW'ly wind, force 1-2. The band of turbulence was approximately 20 m wide and the sea beyond it was once again only slightly rippled."

(Harris, P.C.; "Radar Echo," Marine Observer, 63:111, 1993.)

From Science Frontiers #90, NOV-DEC 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987