New study reveals massive underwater waves rise taller than skyscrapers

Massive Underwater Waves Rise Taller Than Skyscrapers

A new study reveals the mechanisms behind the below-surface ocean phenomenon known as internal waves which can reach more than 600 feet high and travel for more than a thousand miles before breaking under water.

The waves that surfers ride may look impressive, but they're relatively small compared to the massive internal ones that exist under water.

These below-surface activities can apparently reach more than 600 feet high, travel a distance greater than a thousand miles from the point of origin, and, according to the new study, "give rise to turbulence levels more than 10,000 times that in the open ocean."

Though internal waves happen in every ocean, scientists focused specifically on the Luzon Strait, an area between Taiwan and the Philippines, because the area is known for its powerful underwater currents.

For a period of seven years, the team tracked the activity using satellites to determine how the waves work and move.

Among the other findings was that the movement is initiated by internal tides and begins as a rolling motion, not a burst of force.

Internal waves can cause large disturbances in the water, affecting the nutrients and temperature for sea life and fishing operations.
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