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Sediments and Phytoplankton Near Volga Delta in Northern Caspian Sea

46.1N 50.9E

May 11th, 2013 Category: Lakes, Rivers, Sediments

Russia – May 10th, 2013

 This image shows the Volga Delta and the northern part of the Caspian Sea, bright green and blue from sediments and phytoplankton. The sedimentation rates and the types of recent deposits in the Northern Caspian Sea are governed mainly by the abundant Volga discharge.

Investigations based on a complex of techniques revealed that the modern deposits in the Northern Caspian Sea involve terrigenous sands and aleurites with an admixture of detritus and intact bivalve shells, including coquina. Generally, these deposits overlay dark grayish viscous clays.

A similar geological situation occurs in the Volga delta; however, the local deposits are much poorer in biogenic constituents. Illite prevails among the clay minerals. The heavy transparent minerals are represented in the coarse aleurite fraction mostly by epidotes, while quartz and feldspars represent the lighter minerals. The sedimentary material in the Volga delta is far from completely differentiated into fractions due to the abundance of terrigenous inflows, which exceed the energy potential of the river (click here for more information).

Sediments and Phytoplankton in Caspian and Black Seas

44.4N 48.4E

July 26th, 2012 Category: Rivers

Caspian Sea- July 25th, 2012

The bright colors in the northern part of the Caspian Sea are due partly to sediments from rivers such as the Volga, easily recognizable by its large, green delta, and the Ural, to the east of the former. They are also due in part to phytoplankton growth, which is likely encourages by the influx of nutrients from the two rivers. Upon opening the full image, the Black Sea  can be observed to the west. The phytoplankton bloom that has been flourishing there over the last month (click here for previous images) has now almost completely waned.

Sediments and Phytoplankton in Northern Caspian Sea

46.1N 49.8E

July 18th, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton, Rivers, Sediments

Caspian Sea- July 18th, 2012

Sediments and phytoplankton growth in the Caspian Sea give its waters bright green and blue tones. Sediments are most concentrated by the northeastern shores and the northwestern shores, by the Volga Delta. While the Volga can be seen entering the sea from the left edge, the Ural River can be seen flowing down from the top edge.

Phytoplankton in Black Sea and Clear Waters of Caspian Sea – June 6th, 2012

39.2N 41.9E

June 6th, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton

Black Sea - June 5th, 2012

The Black Sea appears almost completely covered by a phytoplankton bloom (see full image to observe more of the sea). The bright blue color is mostly due to the dense presence of these microorganisms, although some of the opacity here is due to sun glint off the water.

The intensive coccolithophora blooming in the Black Sea is quite a typical phenomenon; however this year it occurred earlier than normal. Scientists report that the probable reason for such an intensive blooming in 2012 that started a bit earlier than usually was the cold winter and the related convection. In terms of blooming, intensive were the years of 2006 and 2008 following quite cold winters. At the same time no intensive blooming was monitored over the past 3 year period.

The Caspian Sea, to the east, and the Persian Gulf, to the south, show no such signs of intense phytoplankton growth, although more reduced levels of the tiny microorganisms are likely present in the sediments visible although the shorelines of these bodies of water.

Sediments, Phytoplankton and Ice in Northern Caspian Sea

46.2N 48.8E

April 4th, 2012 Category: Rivers

Caspian Sea - April 3rd, 2012

While the waters of the Caspian Sea near the Volga Delta are bright green from sediments exiting the Volga River mouth and phytoplankton growth, the shallow waters further northeast are coated in a layer of ice. The northern part of the sea is generally the only section that freezes during winter. In the main image, visible onland in the delta area are plumes of smoke from three wildfires.

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