Ocean wave currents in the search for Malaysia Air Flight 370

We’ve all seen satellite images of possible floating debris from the missing jet. Why can’t we just fly to that spot and find it? The answer is ocean currents.

More planes joined the search Sunday (March 23) in hopes of finding answers to the fate of the missing Malaysia Air Flight 370. Sunday’s search, which involves eight aircraft, has been split into two areas within the same proximity covering 22,800 square miles in a remote part of the southern India Ocean. There was a new satellite image of possible debris released yesterday. Why can’t they just fly to that spot and find the plane? The answer is ocean currents. These currents both frustrate the search and serve as a way of finding possible objects. If the plane crashed in one area, the currents could take it into a completely different region, days or weeks later. That’s why the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the search operation, is deciding where to search via what is called drift modeling.

If you want to see how the currents work, please do (!) check out this website: Wave Currents Across the Globe

Image of ocean current speeds via Earth.NullSchool.net

View larger. | Image of ocean current speeds via Earth.NullSchool.net

Bottom Line: This post provides a link that will let you check out ocean currents all across the globe to see how fast they are moving. If you look, you’ll find there are a lot of eddies (circular currents) all along the Indian Ocean where several countries continue to search for the missing jet, Malaysia Air Flight 370.

The world is surprisingly good at salvaging plane wreckage from the ocean depths

Matt Daniel