Oceanographers use this one weird trick to see internal waves!

Click-bait headline aside, we did see some fairly astounding internal wave characteristics in combing through the airborne IR data today. Specifically, Melissa and our pilot Dave flew a final transect along a bore front about 5 miles offshore Pt Sal and saw this:

The view shows an IR snapshot of a portion of an internal wave packet, looking perpendicular to the wave (offshore).  Relative brightness temperature (deg C) is indicated by the colorbar (warmer features are brighter).  The horizontal scale of the image is about 500m along the bottom edge and 1000m along the top edge, so the billow (instability?) structures with cool centers are about 200-300m in scale!  Here’s a link to a movie (37 MB) that shows about a minute of realtime flyby of this bore (?) front.  Lot’s to think about!