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Shipwrecks Reveal Ocean Currents
Abandoned ships and other objects lost at sea may ride ocean currents for months or even years before sinking or washing ashore. This video segment, adapted from a NOVA broadcast, describes how scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute plotted the trajectories of abandoned sailing ships, whose positions were reported by 19th century sea captains. The tracks of these derelict ships reveal oceanic circualtion patterns, particularly the Gulf Stream, which sometimes transported these derelicts from the coast of the Carolinas across the Atlantic to Great Britain, a journey which took about ten months. The segment is three minutes five seconds in length.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Video
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
Technical requirements:
QuickTime plug-in
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Source: NOVA "Adrift on the Gulf Stream". Copyright 2002-2006, WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-760
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: WGBH Educational Foundation