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Phytoplankton Bloom and Ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcano Off Argentine Coast

45.6S 63.6W

November 25th, 2011 Category: Phytoplankton, Volcanoes

Argentina - November 24th, 2011

More than five months after its initial explosive eruption, Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano continues to produce impressive plumes of ash.  Here, one such plume can be seen blowing eastward off the coast of Argentina and over the Atlantic Ocean.

Visible beneath the veil of ash is a green phytoplankton bloom, most evident near the bottom edge of the image. Although individual phytoplankton are microscopic and rarely live more than a few days, when conditions are right, phytoplankton populations can grow explosively, a phenomenon known as a bloom. Blooms in the ocean may cover hundreds of square kilometers and are easily visible in satellite images, as can be observed here.

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