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
ABOUT MODIS
 

October 31, 2014

October 30, 2014

October 29, 2014

October 28, 2014

October 27, 2014

October 26, 2014

October 25, 2014

 

 

April 11, 2014 - Phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic Ocean
Phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic Ocean Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 3/28/2014
Resolutions: 1km (85.2 KB)
500m (272.5 KB)
250m (620.5 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,
NASA GSFC

In late March, 2014, the clouds parted off the snow-covered coast of Newfoundland to reveal a dramatic palette of teal, turquoise and greens in the chilly waters of the North Sea. Such brilliant colors mark a massive vernal phytoplankton bloom over the Grand Banks.

The Grand Banks are a group of shallow plateaus located 80 – 330 feet (24 – 101 m) under the sea southeast of Newfoundland. Here the warm Gulf Stream flows northward, passing and mixing with the southward-flowing Labrador Current. The mixing waters bring nutrients up from the ocean bottom, creating a rich, vibrant marine ecosystem which supports one of the richest fishing grounds in the world.

At the bottom of the marine food chain lies the microscopic plant-like creatures known as phytoplankton. These organisms live in this water year round in relatively low numbers. In spring, the retreat of sea ice, the lengthening light and the warming temperatures can spur fantastically exuberant reproduction, creating massive blooms which can be easily seen from space. Another bloom often occurs late in the summer, often in August. While each organism lives a short time, blooms can continue for many weeks.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on March 28, 2014.

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