The Thermohaline Circulation - The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt

This NASA animation depicts thermohaline circulation in the ocean and how it relates to salinity and water density. It illustrates the sinking of water in the cold, dense ocean near Iceland and Greenland. The surface of the ocean then fades away and the animation pulls back to show the global thermohaline circulation system.

Go To:

NASA /Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

Notes From Our Reviewers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The animation needs the support of the accompanying text to explain what is going on in the visualization.

It may be useful to watch the animation in chunks while the instructor uses the text to explain each chunk.

Teachers could also show the animation to students several times and then have students explain what they see and what is happening.

Note that this is a model based on current theory and not observed data (the download page has more information).