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Kármán Vortices by Socorro Island, Mexico

18.7N 110.9W

April 14th, 2011 Category: Clouds, Volcanoes

Mexico - April 8th, 2011

The interesting cloud patterns in this image are Kármán vortex streets (or von Kármán vortex streets), repeating patterns of swirling vortices caused by the unsteady separation of flow of a fluid over bluff bodies.

In this case, the bluff body is Socorro Island, a small volcanic island in the Revillagigedo Islands, a Mexican possession lying some 600 kilometers off the country’s western coast. The island rises abruptly from the sea to 1050 meters (3,445 ft) in elevation at its summit. Isla Socorro is a shield volcano.

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