November 19, 2012 - Phytoplankton blooms off Argentina

Phytoplankton blooms off Argentina

As spring brings lengthening days and increasing sunlight to the South Atlantic Ocean, phytoplankton – microscopic, photosynthesizing organisms- often respond with explosive growth, creating large blooms that color the waters with brilliant blues and greens. In the spring of 2012, conditions were favorable for massive blooms of phytoplankton off the coast of Argentina.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on November 10, 2012 off the coast of Argentina, showing the expansive blooms which cover nearly all the visible waters of the South Atlantic Ocean.

This spring bloom has been both brilliant and persistent. Blooms have been evident in this area for over a month, and show no sign of dissipating. To compare the blooms in this image with the same location just a week early, go to the MODIS Image of the Day for November 11, 2012, located here:

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 11/10/2012
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC