Pacific Mesoscale Eddy Animations

Background & Description

  • Mesoscale eddies of the North Pacific Ocean impact marine life wherever they are present.  These eddies form along the coast of British Columbia and Alaska and generally move westward. They contain volumes of coastal water that match the volume of water in Lake Michigan.  This water is rich in nutrients and supports marine plant growth.
  • These eddies can only be found through careful analysis of sea level observations measured by satellites, and only since 1992 have these satellites been in orbit and able to detect the eddies.
  • International data servers freely provide the digital data needed to prepare twice weekly maps of sea level over the north Pacific.

The mesoscale eddy animations presented here are composed of
Global Near-Real-Time Altimetry Images extracted from the
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research site.
(click here to view website)


Animation of sea surface height anomolies for 1993 - 2015

TIme series for two data ranges have been compiled for web viewing and downloading.

Select data range

(click on image)

Asian side of Pacific Ocean
Data range: 135 E- 160W, 35N-60N

(click on image)

North American side of Pacific Ocean
Data range: 200E - 240E, 40N - 60N


Animations created by Diversified Scientific Solutions for William (Bill) Crawford of Fisheries and Oceans Canada