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