Ocean submesoscale (∼2-20 km) mixing processes play a major role in ocean dynamics, in physical-biological interactions (e.g., in the dispersion of larvae), and in the dispersion of pollutants. In this paper, horizontal mixing on a scale of a few kilometers is investigated, from observations of surface currents, using highly resolved (300 m) high-frequency radar. These results show the complexity of ocean mixing on scales of a few kilometers and the existence of temporary barriers to mixing that can affect the dispersion of biological materials and pollutants. These barriers are narrow [O(100 m)] and can survive for a few days. The existence of these barriers is supported in simultaneous aerial photographs. The barriers observed here may require a new approach to the way horizontal mixing is parameterized in ocean and climate models.