Unusual turbulence seen along North Carolina coast

Currituck Sound, North Carolina

The first observations of an unusual type of turbulence may have been made in Currituck Sound, North Carolina.

Doug Smith/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Storm winds in Currituck Sound, North Carolina, may have created just the right conditions for scientists to see soliton turbulence for the first time in ocean waves. Soliton turbulence is an exotic, nonlinear form of wave motion first described in the 1970s but not observed in ocean waves until now, researchers report September 2 in Physical Review Letters.

Ashley Yeager is the associate news editor at Science News. She has worked at The Scientist, the Simons Foundation, Duke University and the W.M. Keck Observatory, and was the web producer for Science News from 2013 to 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a master’s degree in science writing from MIT.

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