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September 10, 2012

by Liz Baird

Deepwater Canyons

Tropical Storm Leslie has been hanging around since this leg of the mission started, like an annoying younger sibling who keeps interfering when there is work to be done. Every day we check the predicted path (and cone of uncertainty) as well as the marine forecast. Obviously if we thought Leslie was heading our way there would be no question – we would head to shore.  She does not have us in her sights, however we will be feeling her impact in the waves and swells even though we are about 600 miles away.

The transfer of wind energy into the ocean creates waves. This transfer is done by friction between the air molecules and the water molecules, and tropical storms have lots of wind energy. This friction causes the water molecules to oscillate (move up and down). It really is similar to the aptly named “wave” that fans do…

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