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Phytoplankton in the North Sea and Bay of Biscay – May 20th, 2010

56.0N 4.2E

May 20th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton Off European Shores - May 19th, 2010

Phytoplankton Off European Shores - May 19th, 2010

Phytoplankton in Bay of Biscay

Phytoplankton in Bay of Biscay

Phytoplankton in North Sea

Phytoplankton in North Sea

Green and blue phytoplankton blooms are visible off the coast of Europe, in the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay. Such blooms are not unusual at this time of year in these locations.

The detail of the Bay of Biscay shows the swirled pattern of the blue bloom situated between the French and Spanish shorelines.

The bloom in the North Sea is visible off the coast of Denmark, south of Norway. The close-up image of this area shows phytoplankton and sediments between England and the Netherlands.

The different colors in the blooms are probably due to different species of phytoplankton. A darker green color is caused by green chlorophyll, while lighter blue hues may indicate a phytoplankton species known as coccolithophores, which produce a type of calcite.

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