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Archive for Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton Bloom and Vegetation Index of UK and Ireland

57.8N 3.2W

June 12th, 2011 Category: Phytoplankton, Vegetation Index

UK - June 10th, 2011

This FAPAR image shows the vegetation index of the United Kingdom and Ireland and part of southern Norway. A bright green and blue phytoplankton bloom can be observed in the North Sea between the two countries.

Through the spotty cloud-cover, the United Kingdom and Ireland show a good (green) to high (rusty red) vegetation index. Southern Norway’s index appears mostly good with some areas of low activity (yellow).

Vegetation Index of Sweden and Finland by Gulf of Bothnia

63.0N 20.0E

June 23rd, 2010 Category: Phytoplankton, Vegetation Index

Sweden and Finland - June 2nd, 2010

Sweden and Finland - June 2nd, 2010

This FAPAR image focuses on the vegetation index of Sweden, west of the Gulf of Bothnia, and Finland, east of the gulf, during the European summer.

Both countries show generally good photosynthetic activity by their green color. Some areas, particularly those near the mountains to the North, have lower levels (yellow), while others to the South show higher levels (red).

A phytoplankton bloom is also visible in the lower left hand corner, although any photosynthetic activity from the microscopic plantlife composing the bloom is not depicted with the false-color imagery as occurs with that on land.

Vegetation Index of New Zealand’s North and South Islands

40.7S 175.6E

March 12th, 2010 Category: Phytoplankton, Vegetation Index

New Zealand - February 23rd, 2010

New Zealand - February 23rd, 2010

This FAPAR image thumbnail focuses on New Zealand’s North Island, although the South Island and a phytoplankton bloom to the east are also visible upon opening the full image. The North Island shows more areas of high photosynthetic activity (dark red) than the South Island, although both islands show generally good activity.

Because of its long isolation from the rest of the world and its island biogeography, New Zealand has extraordinary flora and fauna. About 80% of New Zealand’s flora is endemic, including 65 endemic genera. Until the arrival of humans, 80% of the land was forested.

The two main types of forest are those dominated by podocarps and/or the giant kauri, and in cooler climates the southern beech. The remaining vegetation types in New Zealand are grasslands of tussock and other grasses, usually in sub-alpine areas, and the low shrublands between grasslands and forests.

Rio de la Plata, Argentina and Uruguay – January 29th, 2010 – EOSnap Celebrates its 2000th Post!

34.6S 58.3W

January 29th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton, Rivers

Argentina and Uruguay - January 26th, 2010

Argentina and Uruguay - January 26th, 2010

FAPAR image

FAPAR image

MERIS RR image

MERIS RR image

EOSnap celebrates an important milestone – its 2000th post – with this comparative look at the land surrounding the Rio de la Plata, and would like to take the opportunity to thank our readers for their patronage. The right half of the main image is a true-color MERIS reduced resolution image, while the left half is a false-color FAPAR image.

In the MERIS image, it is possible to observe the true color of the landscape as well as the tan sediments carried by the ParanĂ¡ River, running parallel to the left edge, and the Uruguay River, right of the former. These two great rivers converge to create the Rio de la Plata, a funnel-shaped indentation on the southeastern coastline of South America, extending 290 kilometres (180 mi) from the rivers’ confluence to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Rio de la Plata grows from 48 kilometres (30 mi) wide where the rivers meet to 220 kilometres (137 mi) wide to the southeast where it opens on the Atlantic Ocean. It forms part of the border between Argentina and Uruguay, with the major ports and capital cities of Buenos Aires on the southern banks and Montevideo on the northern banks. A phytoplankton bloom can also be seen southeast of the rivermouth, in the lower right corner (best seen in the full version of the MERIS detail).

The FAPAR image, on the other hand, provides information regarding the vegetation index of the area by indicating the amount of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation canopies. FAPAR, in fact, stands for Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation. Such images are generated by a Chelys processor that processes and extracts the FAPAR index from raw data in just a few seconds.

In order to interpret the false colors of the image, one must be aware that the color spectrum over land runs from red (1.0), to green, to yellow and white (0.0). The green to red areas indicate zones for which there is a good to high degree of photosynthetic activity and thus much vegetation and/or agriculture. The yellow to white areas, on the contrary, are indicative of low to no photosynthetic activity and thus little or no vegetation.

Most of the land visible here in Argentina and Uruguay shows good to high activity, particularly in the area southwest of the ParanĂ¡ River. The photosynthetic activity decreases as one moves southward towards Argentine Patagonia, which is for the most part a region of slike plains covered with an enormous bed of shingle almost bare of vegetation.