May 8, 2013 - Phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay

Phytoplankton bloom in the Bay of Biscay

Phytoplankton growth in the Bay of Biscay intensified in early May, 2013, painting the deep blue waters with huge swirls of jewel-tone colors that were brilliantly visible from space. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image on May 4, 2013.

Each year, typically from March through April, such blooms occur in the Bay of Biscay. By May, however, conditions are not as favorable and the blooms tend to fade, then disappear. This bloom is expanding in early May this year, but will likely begin to diminish soon.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 5/4/2013
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC