Phytoplankton Offshore of Rio de la Plata Estuary, Argentina – February 28th, 201034.6S 58.3W
Thick brown sediments spill forth from the Rio de la Plata, past Buenos Aires, towards the Atlantic Ocean. Further offshore, a bright turquoise phytoplankton bloom is visible below the clouds.
Such blooms are common off the coast of Argentina, as the sea floor drops suddenly to great depths off the east coast of South America, and the water rising up to the surface from those depths brings nutrients that provide food for phytoplankton.
Another possible cause of phytoplankton blooms is the iron and other nutrients released into the ocean by dust storms. This bloom, which has been present since early February, could have been nourished by a dust storm that occurred in late January.
Please click here to see an earlier article on dust storms and phytoplankton by Argentina.