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Archive for Sediments

Phytoplankton Near King Sound, Australia

16.8S 121.9E

June 12th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton, Sediments VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Australia – June 10th, 2013

Sediments color the waters of King Sound, in north-west Australia, famous for its tides that can reach up to 11.8 m (the second biggest tides in the world, after the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia). West of the sound, a bluish green stain of phytoplankton can be seen just offshore.

Sediments and Phytoplankton by Argentine Patagonia

45S 65.1W

June 9th, 2013 Category: Phytoplankton, Sediments MODISTerra

Argentina – June 8th, 2013

Sediments and phytoplankton can be seen off the coast of Argentine Patagonia. The greenish plume of color streaming northeastward off Peninsula Valdes (center) is likely caused by sediments, while the band of green containing swirled patterns that is parallel, but not connected to, the coast of the San Jorge Gulf (below), is likely due to phytoplankton.

Water Pollution in Lake Maracaibo and Gulf of Venezuela, Venezuela and Colombia – June 6th, 2013

9.5N 71.3W

June 6th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Sediments MODISAqua

Venezuela and Colombia – June 5th, 2013

Though undoubtedly shocking and disconcerting, the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is hardly the first incident of its kind in the region. Starting in the 1920s, American and British subsidiaries of Standard Oil of New Jersey, Gulf and Royal Dutch Shell turned environmentally pristine Lake Maracaibo (below), which empties out into the Gulf of Venezuela (above) and the Caribbean, into toxic sludge.

Travel to Lake Maracaibo today and you can still see the relics of the pioneering petroleum past: hundreds of offshore oil derricks dot the horizon as far as the eye can see. During the 1920s oil was a messy business and blow-outs, fires and fantastic gushers were a common occurrence. Just as in Louisiana today, the oil industry in Lake Maracaibo put delicate lakeshore mangroves in danger as well as tropical wildlife.

The water used by local residents for domestic uses came from the lake itself, and reportedly there was little risk of getting sick from the water as it was clean, such that one could even see the head of a coin or a needle in the water. With the arrival of the oil companies however, the water became dirty (click here for more information).

Sediment Loads of the Amazon River, Brazil

0.3N 49.9W

June 4th, 2013 Category: Rivers, Sediments MODISAqua

Brazil – June 4th, 2013

Sediment loads can be calculated by converting cosmogenic nuclide-derived rates using their sediment-producing areas. The fluctuations in the modern sediment loads of the Amazon River are due to the absence of long-term deposition within the basin and to the buffering capability of the large Amazon floodplain. The buffering capability dampens short-term, high-amplitude fluctuations (climatic variability in source areas and anthropogenic soil erosion) by the time the denudation rate signal of the hinterland is transmitted to the outlet of the basin (click here for more information).

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.

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