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Archive for Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton Bloom Off Coast of Ireland – June 5th, 2013

June 5th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton MODISAqua

Ireland – June 4th, 2013

Phytoplankton blooms are a common phenomenon, caused by microscopic plants that float in the upper, sunlit layers of the ocean. When large numbers of phytoplankton are concentrated in one area, the color of the water surface changes. A special group of plankton are coccolithophores. These tiny organisms generate very thin plates of calcium carbonate known as coccoliths. Coccoliths reflect light in a unique way turning the color of the water into a bright, milky aquamarine during intense blooms, which can be seen from space, as is the case of this bloom, visible southwest of Ireland.

Sediments and Phytoplankton by Melville Island, Australia – June 3rd, 2013

11.5S 131.1E

June 3rd, 2013 Category: Fires, Image of the day, Phytoplankton, Sediments

Australia – June 1st, 2013

Sediments cause the coastline of Australia’s Northern Territory to appear bright shades of gold and green, particularly in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf (lower left quadrant) and¬†the Van Diemen Gulf (upper right quadrant) between the mainland and Melville Island. A darker green and blue expanse of water west of the island may be colored as such due to phytoplankton rather than sediments. On the mainland, several plumes of smoke from fires can be seen blowing towards the west-northwest.

Phytoplankton of Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia – May 28th, 2013

16.8S 139.8E

May 28th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Australia – May 28th, 2013

The phytoplankton of the shelf waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, is basically a diatom flora, distinctly different from the oceanic, predominantly dinoflagellate flora of the Coral Sea and Indian Ocean. Large morphologically elaborate tropical diatoms and dinoflagellates of this shelf region show great species diversity (click here for more information).

Phytoplankton in the Black Sea

42.8N 38.2E

May 24th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton

Black Sea – May 23rd, 2013

A phytoplankton bloom can be observed in the Black Sea, coloring its usually dark blue waters a paisley pattern of lighter blue. Putting together the biomass of all the phytoplankton in Black Sea in a usual day of August gives an astronomic number of about six million tons. This photosynthesizing mass (called standing crop) is growing (primary production), and, at the same time, disappearing due to grazing by zooplankton.

Phytoplankton Bloom in Bay of Biscay, Near Spain and France

44.9N 4W

May 5th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton

Bay of Biscay – May 4th, 2013

A large phytoplankton bloom stains the waters of the Bay of Biscay, between Spain (below) and France (upper right), a greenish color. The bloom has been present in this area since mid-April (click here for previous images). The differences in color within the bloom may be an indication of different species of phytoplankton.