Science: Counter Gulf Stream

Large-scale charts show ocean currents circling neatly back on the surface to the places from which they come. Oceanographer Henry Stommel of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution became convinced by theory that much water also returns along the ocean bottom. The north-flowing Gulf Stream, he suspected, should have directly under it a south-flowing countercurrent. Nature tells how a joint expedition of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Britain's National Institute of Oceanography found the counter Gulf Stream exactly where Stommel figured it should be.

Measuring deep ocean currents was almost impossible until Britain's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!