Elevation map of sea surface temperature shows Gulf Stream

Here is ansnapshot00other 3D map. This one shows differences in sea surface temperature (SST) along the East Coast of the U.S. The elevation differences highlights the Gulf Stream, a surface current that flows north along the western edge of the North Atlantic, transporting warm water northward from the tropics.


The Gulf Stream is a strong surface current that starts in the Gulf of Mexico, moves through the Straits of Florida and then travels up the East Coast of the U.S.

The model highlights the path the warm water in the Gulf Stream takes as it moves along the South Eastern coast of the U.S. before moving eastward towards Europe.


As it moves offshore, eddies form transporting warm surface water westward into the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastal waters. In the data used to make this map an eddy has developed off the coast of Delaware.

The northern edge of the eastward moving arm of the current represents a major transition in surface temperature between the cold North Atlantic and the warm central gyre.


This model was created using a process similar to the one used for the rainfall map. Sea surface temperature data was obtained from NOAA’s National Virtual Ocean Data System live access server, converted to a grey scale image using qGIS and converted into an elevation map using OpenSCAD‘s surface method.

For this model I used two color printing to print the map in blue on a white base. I did not make a multi-colored one, but it could be done with the process I used for the 4 color rain map. One nice feature present on this map that was missing on the rain map is the addition of a 3d printed legend and scale bar.