Von Karman vortices, South of the Canary Island archipelago

This unique cloud formation from Envisat, created by ‘Von Karman vortices’, South of the Canary Island archipelago, some 95 km from the Northwest coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean.

Karman vortex streetis a term in fluid dynamics for a repeating pattern of swirling vortices caused by the unsteady separation of flow of a fluid over bluff bodies. It is named after the engineer and fluid dynamicist, Theodore von Kármán and is responsible for such phenomena as the “singing” of suspended telephone or power lines, and the vibration of a car antenna at certain speeds.



UK Space Agency