Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center

+ NASA Homepage

Goddard Space Flight Center
About MODIS News Data Tools /images2 Science Team Science Team Science Team

   + Home

April 27, 2015

April 26, 2015

April 25, 2015

April 24, 2015

April 23, 2015

April 22, 2015

April 21, 2015



January 1, 2013 - Phytoplankton bloom off New Zealand
Phytoplankton bloom off New Zealand Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 12/20/2012
Resolutions: 1km (76.5 KB)
500m (264.4 KB)
250m (688.9 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,

Intricate and flowing swirls of turquoise and green graced the Pacific Ocean off of New Zealandís South Island in early summer, 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAís Aqua satellite captured this colorful image on December 20. New Zealand celebrated their first day of summer on December 1

Phytoplankton blooms are common off the east coast of South Island, especially in the summer time when lengthening sunlight fuels the growth of the plant-like organisms which live in these waters. The currents that flow over and around the Chatham Rise, an underwater plateau, bring nutrients up from the deeper water, also encouraging rapid growth. When nutrients abound, when temperatures are favorable for the species, and light lengthens, then photosynthetic phytoplankton reproduce with astonishing rapidity. Blooms, such as this one, can stretch hundreds of kilometers across the ocean.

FirstGov logo Privacy Policy and Important Notices NASA logo

Curator: Brandon Maccherone
NASA Official: Shannell Frazier

NASA Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page