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The USGS Water Science School

Water Science Photo Gallery
Sediment from runoff entering the ocean

Florida, October 14, 1999—the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in Florida in 1999 shows the dumping of sediment-laden runoff water into the Atlantic Ocean. These are huge events which can easily be seen from space. Here, sediment-filled rivers are dumping tremendous amounts of suspended sediment runoff and river flow into the Atlantic Ocean. The same thing occurred all along the Atlantic coast for hundreds of miles north—you can see how the Atlantic water currents are moving the sediment north after it enters the ocean.

The sediment being dumped into the oceans has an effect on the ecology of the oceans, both in a good and bad way. Also, this is one of the ways that the oceans have become what they are: salty.

Florida, Oct. 14, 1999. When Hurricane Irene passed over Florida in 1999, the heavy rainfall over land caused extensive amounts of runoff that first entered Florida's rivers which then dumped the runoff water, containing lots of sediment, into the Atlantic Ocean.  Credit:NASA

Credit: NASA Visible Earth.

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