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Multiple Colors of Phytoplankton Bloom Between Norway and Svalbard Archipelago

75.3N 22.7E

August 21st, 2011 Category: Phytoplankton

Phytoplankton in Barents Sea - August 17th, 2011

Brilliant shades of blue and green created by a massive phytoplankton bloom color the waters of the Barents Sea between Norway (lower right) and the Svalbard Archipelago (upper left). Blooms in this area are common in August, although they are often difficult to observe vi satellite because, according to NASA, the Barents Sea is cloud-covered roughly 80 percent of the time in summer.

The milky blue color of this bloom suggests that it is mostly composed of coccolithophores, microscopic plankton plated with white calcium carbonate. The differences in color may be due to differences in depth and concentration, or the presence of sediments or other species of phytoplankton, particularly diatoms.

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