HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mapping ocean currents. Professor Russ Davis assembles an ALACE probe in a laboratory at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. After its launch, ALACE (Autonomous Lagrangian Circulation Explorer) sinks to a depth of 1000 metres, where it encounters water of its own density, and floats under the influence of the prevailing current. An ingenious, battery-powered pump allows the probe to be brought to the surface, where its radio communicates its position to a location-finder on board a U.S. weather satellite. The speed & direction of any deep sea current is calculated by comparing its initial & present locations.
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