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#246312 - 11/05/2008 21:30 Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
TrenthamStormchasers Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 15/04/2001
Posts: 6258
Loc: Trentham 705m
Saw these off the coast near Port Douglas in February...have seen them before but this was a particularly good example...can someone more nautical than me tell me what they are and why they are?


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#246313 - 11/05/2008 21:38 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
NoRelationToNed Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 06/03/2007
Posts: 699
Loc: Kerang, NW Victoria
Had there been any boating activity there over the preceding hour or so? They look very much like the trails caused by the underwater turbulence left over long after a power boat has passed by. I remember seeing those trails when there used to be water in our freshwater lakes hereabouts, ah the good old days!

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#246314 - 11/05/2008 21:44 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
TrenthamStormchasers Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 15/04/2001
Posts: 6258
Loc: Trentham 705m
We were the first boat in the area for quite a while....

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#246315 - 11/05/2008 22:27 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
Adiabatic Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/2001
Posts: 14190
Loc: Knoxfield 96m: 120.2mm
I too have been interested in this phenomena. Wondering what it is too. See it a lot over the dams - like Upper Yarra, particularly after rainfall.

I might find a picture and post it up...

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#246316 - 12/05/2008 11:03 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
SAsurfa Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 29/10/2005
Posts: 576
Loc: Adelaide
I am curious about this as well.

I have seen it many a time when chekcing the surf. Usually if there are glassy seas and then the wind starts to pickup you see these areas where the wind doesn't seem to affect the surface. Can't seem to think what causes them, and I see them in lots of areas where there is no boat activity at all.

Can't wait for the explanation!

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#246317 - 05/06/2008 20:36 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
SBT Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 07/02/2007
Posts: 14286
Loc: Townsville Dry Tropics
My guess would be oil from the exhaust of a 2 stroke motor or maybe a left over burley trail if it was out at sea. I have seen these many times as well and that was what I put it down to until we moved to Perth and on a calm day at Swanbourne saw the same sort of things appearing in the water.

So I asked an old bloke and he said it was just fresh water from the sub artsian basin. Swam out and tasted the water it it definatley wasn't seawater but the very iron tasting bore water that Perth has.
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#246318 - 05/06/2008 21:24 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
TrenthamStormchasers Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 15/04/2001
Posts: 6258
Loc: Trentham 705m
No recent boat appearances in the hour prior to seeing it - I wondered if it was just the wind, but odd that it's continuous trails without breaks.....gotta be someone in the world who knows but for the life of me I can't find it on Google or Wiki either.... frown

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#246319 - 05/06/2008 21:47 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
percy_04 Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 22/05/2004
Posts: 1653
Loc: Unley, SA, Fine weather bubble...
i was always under the impression that they were oil slicks - because they are not just created by boats, if you look at surfers out beyond the back break on certain days then people also leave these slicks, I've also seen swimmers with this slick before.

I had a quick google and found this link to the NOAA website on them. They seem to be Windrows - because there is normally more than one of them. Quite different to convergence lines associated with the change of tides. smile

response.restoration.noaa.gov/topic_subtopic_entry.php?RECORD_KEY%28entry_subtopic_topic%29=entry_id,subtopic_id,topic_id&entry_id(entry_subtopic_topic)=267&subtopic_id(entry_subto pic_topic)=8&topic_id(entry_subtopic_topic)=1

Cool linke - only the glossary, but it's a start.

Sean

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#246320 - 02/10/2008 18:06 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
Darumbal Offline
Member

Registered: 13/01/2008
Posts: 583
Loc: Darumbal = Original people of ...
That looks like a classic "Wind Lane".


I used to target these lanes while trout frishing at Lake Jindabyne. Here is an articale of fishing the lanes. http://www.flyfishtasmania.com.au/Venues/wind_lane.asp

Windrows are another term, here are some links
http://www.lmvp.org/Waterline/winter2002/langmuir.htm

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#246321 - 02/10/2008 22:29 Re: Patterns on the ocean surface...wind trails or what???
ColdFront Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 29/06/2008
Posts: 19046
Loc: The Beach.
...and you are spot on Darumbal. I have seen them form along a tidal current in the ocean.
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