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Different water masses in the ocean can be challenging and fascinating to scientists and the layman interested in oceanography. The Gulf Stream on the eastern coast of the United States is one of the fascinating ocean currents. It is certainly can be described as a river in a very broad sense but it is much more complicated I think than people want to follow. Now that we have airplanes and satellites and ships that can move fairly rapidly and take a lot of data we find the Gulfstream has a lot of offshoots and a lot of counter currents and the Gulfstream doesn't stay in one place like a river usually does it mean and is back and forth. The speaker is Dr. Jack Blanton a physical oceanographer who has some interesting comments about the Gulf Stream just a moment. Challenges in education presented by Duke University. Here with today's feature is Charles Bronson. Physical oceanographers are interested in the movements in the ocean where they are
currents tides waves or even air movements at the surface of the ocean. They talk about such things as temperature frontal zone salinity and boundaries. Dr. Jacques platen at the Duke Marine Laboratory speaks of one such boundary. Now some boundaries are much sharper than others because we have a well the boundary that I missed it in at the moment is a boundary between the gulf stream or the Gulf Stream water a very warm and very samey adjacent to the water mass it resides right next to North Carolina the so-called shelf water mass which is. It can be either cold or warm depending on the season but it's generally less sailing. Some people believe that as you go away from the land mass into the Atlantic the ocean water becomes colder. Dr. Breton indicates that this is not true. People used to say the Gulf strain was a warm river in a cold sea. And it turns out that it's a warm river that just happens to separate part of the COSI from the warm sea from the Gulf Stream eastward out into the Atlantic.
It's warm and it's very sailing and then all of a sudden you cross a boundary where you get into less sailing and cooler shelf war and the Gulf Stream rides right along this boundary in fact is called a boundary current in the oceanography world. More specifically a western boundary karma called it turns out that these faster boundary currents are on the west side of the oceans are on the east part of the continents because you pan has one just like that like the gulf stream of on the other hand. If you go off the west coast of the U.S. or off the eastern part of the Pacific. The currents are not quite so spectacular. They're brawling they're very sluggish and of course this has to do with the rotation of the earth and several other factors. Dr. Biden who has just recently come from the West Coast has been surprised with the abrupt changes in water temperature that he has noted off the coast of North Carolina. I was very surprised to see some data taken here in the winter time. Where a lot of this water is up on the shelf near the Beaufort area where maybe
5 degrees centigrade. And in a matter of maybe one hundred meters this had gone up to maybe 12 degrees centigrade and then another hundred meters up to 20 degrees Centigrade. In other words you were right on a very sharp boundary where the water was very very Co. And then within a couple of shift links even the water jumps up to tropical water which would be residing in the Gulf Stream boundaries. And this to me was really surprising and I suppose someone studying here was not surprised by this thing anymore but you don't find gradients like that on the west coast least I haven't had you find some fairly sharp ones but not of that magnitude. Dr. Brighton says that he recently made a study of a frontal zone in the Pacific Ocean that had a boundary of about 200 kilometers. By contrast he says some boundaries in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina maybe only two hundred meters wide in several ways. The Duke Marine Laboratory is
physically located in an ideal setting for marine scientists and students. This is Charles Roswell with challenges in education from Duke University. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Challenges in education
Gulf stream
Producing Organization
Duke University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Program number 127 talks about the gulf stream and oceanography.
Series Description
This series presents problems facing educators today.
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Host: Braswell, Charles
Interviewee: Blanton, Jack
Producing Organization: Duke University
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35i-127 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:31
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Chicago: “Challenges in education; Gulf stream,” 1969-02-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “Challenges in education; Gulf stream.” 1969-02-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Challenges in education; Gulf stream. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from