“Mesoscale” eddies are large whirlpools in the ocean with diameters of hundreds of kilometers. Their influence can extend to depths of 1000 m or greater. Oceanographers are only now beginning to document the prevalence, extent, and influence of such features in the world ocean. The availability of third-generation ocean color imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer-MODIS sensors aboard NASAs AQUA and TERRA platforms, and support for direct observation at sea, have now allowed characterization of such an eddy interacting with the Orinoco River plume (ORP) while traversing the eastern Caribbean basin.
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