Although first observed in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, the Gulf Stream was not charted until the early 1770s by Benjamin Franklin.
In 1843, the United States Coast Survey, NOAA’s earliest “ancestor,” set out to study the Gulf Stream in more detail. They wanted to determine the depth of the water, the temperature of the water at different depths, the characteristics of the ocean bottom, the direction and velocity of the currents at different depths, and the extent of plant and animal life. Their early observations led them to discover features such as cool and warm water banding, as well as the “Charleston Bump.”
Last updated: 01/20/23
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