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Phytoplankton Bloom Off Coast of Namibia – March 7th, 2012

23S 15.1E

March 7th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Namibia - March 5th, 2012

A  bright green and blue phytoplankton bloom can be observed near the coast of Namibia, by the Namib Desert. The bloom is likely caused by soil entering the coastal waters and providing extra nutrients for the microscopic organisms to flourish, or by nutrient-rich currents sweeping north from Antarctica and interacting with the coastal shelf.

In the full image, a larger yet fainter bloom can be seen further offshore. The pale color indicates that the bloom is just beginning or coming to an end. Phytoplankton blooms are so abundant off Namibia that their death and decomposition often robs the water of dissolved oxygen.

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