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Posts tagged Chubut Province

Phytoplankton Bloom Off Coast of Chubut Province, Argentina

44.3S 64.2W

November 3rd, 2012 Category: Phytoplankton

Argentina – November 1st, 2012

Under the correct conditions, phytoplankton reproduce extremely rapidly, forming blooms large enough to be seen from space. To produce such blooms, phytoplankton need abundant sunlight, carbon dioxide, and dissolved nutrients – necessary conditions all of which frequently occur off the coast of Argentina. Here, a bloom continues (click here for previous images of the bloom) to flourish off the coast of the country’s Chubut Province.

Sediments from Chubut River South of Valdes Peninsula, Argentina

43.2S 65W

April 17th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Argentina - February 25th, 2010

Argentina - February 25th, 2010

Sediments spill from the Chubut River and line the coast of Argentina in the Patagonia region. Further offshore, near the right edge of the image, a greenish stain is visible in the water; this may be caused by a faint phytoplankton bloom rather than sediments.

The river flows through Chubut Province for approximately 800 kilometres before emptying in the Atlantic Ocean at Engaño Bay near Rawson. The river is generally shallow and its water flow can vary from 4 to 30 m³/s between drought and flood. Flooding makes the lands beside the river fertile and important for agriculture.

North of the rivermouth is the Valdes Peninsula (Spanish: Península Valdés), in the north east of Chubut Province. Most of the peninsula is barren land, although there are some salt lakes, visible here. The largest of these lakes is at an elevation of about 40 m below sea level.

Lake Musters and Lake Colhué Huapi in Argentine Patagonia

45.4S 69.1W

March 18th, 2010 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Argentina - February 25th, 2010

Argentina - February 25th, 2010

Lake Musters (dark green, left) and Lake Colhué Huapi  (light green, right) form the terminal stage of the Senguerr River endorheic basin, located in the patagonic central region of Argentina in the south of Chubut province.

The basin lakes are fed mainly by the eastward-running Senguerr River which begins its journey in the glacial lakes of La Plata and Fontana in the Andes Mountains The inflow ranges from 35 to 54m³/sec and varies greatly by season and by year.

Both lakes suffer naturally from a severe evaporation process in the dry patagonian environment due to strong wind action and solar radiation. In shallow Colhué Huapi, evaporation has greatly increased.

In past decades, when excessive inflows did take place, water discharged to the birth branches of Chico River and eventually reached the Chubut River. This ephemeral process last occurred in 1939; however, since then the Chico River has mostly been dry.

Valdes Peninsula in Argentine Patagonia

42.5S 64.2W

February 9th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Argentina - January 25th, 2010

Argentina - January 25th, 2010

The green of the Pampas (above) gradually fades into the tan of Patagonia as one moves southward in this image of Argentina and parts of Chile (far left). The Valdes Peninsula stands out along the coastline to the right.

The peninsula is located along the Atlantic coast in the Viedma Department in the north east of Chubut Province, Argentina. Its surface area is about 3,625 km². The nearest large town is Puerto Madryn, and the only town on the peninsula itself is the small settlement of Puerto Piramides. There are also a number of estancias, where sheep are raised.

Most of the peninsula is barren land with some salt lakes. It is an important nature reserve which was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. The coastline is inhabited by marine mammals, like sea lions, elephant seals and fur seals. Southern right whales can be found in Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San José, protected bodies of water located between the peninsula and the Patagonian mainland. The inner part of the peninsula is inhabited by rheas, guanacos and maras, as well as a high diversity and range of birds.

Large Phytoplankton Bloom East of Valdes Peninsula, Argentina – December 1st, 2009

44.5S 59.7W

December 1st, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Argentina - November 17th, 2009

Argentina - November 17th, 2009

A large phytoplankton bloom is visible in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the Valdes Peninsula in the northeast of Argentina’s Chubut Province. The bloom is most intense near the white vortex of the area of convection over the ocean. In that area ocean currents have created swirled patterns in the bloom, while to the northwest the patterns become more band-like.

Phytoplankton are plant-like organisms that live in the surface waters of the ocean, growing best in cooler waters where upwelling (the mixing of nutrient-rich deep water with surface water) occurs. The cold Falkland Current, which sweeps north from Antarctica along the coast of Argentina, may be a contributing factor to this bloom. The Atlantic Ocean in this region is chilled by the current and by upwelling, allowing nutrient-rich water to reach the surface where phytoplankton can thrive.

The dark blue and greenish colours are from chlorophyll, a green pigment found in most plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. The clear, lighter blue colours on the other hand are not from chlorophyl, but probably from coccoliths, individual plates of calcium carbonate formed by coccolithophores (single-celled algae).

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