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Posts tagged Current Vortex

Phytoplankton Blooms off Coast of Japan

42.0N 149.0E

May 21st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Phytoplankton Blooms near Japan - May 21st, 2009

Phytoplankton Blooms near Japan - May 21st, 2009

Phytoplankton bloom

Phytoplankton bloom

Phytoplankton bloom highlighted by sun glint

Bloom highlighted by glint

Here, several distinct phytoplankton blooms are visible to the right of Japan‘s Hokkaido island.

Spring and summer phytoplankton blooms are believed to be caused by increased solar radiation and nutrients supplied to the sea surface, such as nitrates and phosphates.

Both sunlight (solar radiation) and those nutrients are absorbed by ocean phytoplankton photosynthesis.

The first two close-ups focus on two circular, spiralled blooms, one near the coast and another further east, highlighted by sun glint.

The final close-up focuses on a different phenomenon, a water current vortex made visible by sun glint.

Water current vortex

Water current vortex

Water Current Vortex off Coast of Cyprus

34.8N 33.0E

May 15th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Cyprus - May 13th, 2009

Cyprus - May 13th, 2009

Sun glint on the right side of the image makes it possible to observe a vortex swirling in the Mediterranean Sea, east of Cyprus. Water currents cannot usually be seen by the naked eye; however, the reflection of the sun off the surface may make them visible.

Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Sardinia, has a large central plain (here, tan in color) with mountains to north and south. There are also scattered but significant plains along southern coast.

South of the central plain lie the Troodos Mountains, appearing here as a wide swath of dark green. The island’s highest point, Mount Olympus, is located in this range, at 1,951 meters above sea level.

The central plains may appear brown here due to Cyprus’s perennial drought problem. After 10 years of drought, the country received substantial rainfall from 2001-04, but since that time rainfall has once again been well below average, making water rationing a necessity.

Cyprus’s water resource problems are due to the fact that it has no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island’s largest aquifer and increased salination in the north. Water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes is also a problem.

Current Vortex off Australian Coast – February 21st, 2009

February 21st, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Shark Bay, Southwestern Australia - February 19th, 2009

Shark Bay, Southwestern Australia - February 19th, 2009

The East Australian Current flows from North to South along the eastern coast of Australia. It is the result of the collision of the South Equatorial Current colliding with the Australian mainland.

In shallower waters along the Australian continental shelf the East Australian Current may be as fast as 7 knots, but its speed in most places is usually around 2 or 3 knots.

The East Australian Current causes a current vortex in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand, visible here near the center.

It has also been noted that this current transports tropical marine fauna to habitats in sub-tropical regions along the south east Australian coast.