Saturday, December 29, 2007


Phytoplankton off the Coast of Argentina.

Iridescent shades of peacock blue and emerald green decorated the South Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina on December 24, 2007.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image the same day.

In this image, the colors spread out toward the south, like an inverted feather fan. Though hundreds of kilometers in length, these bright bands of color were formed by miniscule objects—tiny surface-dwelling ocean plants known as phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton thrive in the ocean waters off the Argentine coast, thanks to the waters’ cool temperature and richness of nutrients. In this area, the Malvinas (Falkland) Current sweeps northward along the continental shelf, bringing with it cold water from the Southern Ocean. The action of the current sweeping along the edge of the shelf pulls nutrients up from the ocean floor. These nutrients serve as a natural fertilizer that promotes phytoplankton growth.

I love these satellite photos of phytoplankton blooms. They're the basis of the food chain in a healthy ocean.


Brian Hughes said...

There's loads of these little phytoplankton buggers off the west coast of Britain. I keep trying to destroy them with detergent 'cos they make the sea look manky and they spoil the view. Unfortunately the environmentalists keep complaining. Obviously they've got nothing better to do.

Middle Child said...

Wow...I didnt know all this, its good to learn new stuff...thanks

JahTeh said...

They're not phytoplankton, they're poms leaving for God's own country.

Therese, this is why I love the internet apart from the squalid cybersex affair I'm having with Lord Hughes of Fleetwood.

R.H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.H. said...

Goodness. How ridiculous. And insulting.


The early hours are a fine critic.


Lord Hughes of Fleetwood said...

Squalid? I thought a bath full of baked beans and a willy warmer in the shape of Mickey Mouse was romantic.

JahTeh said...

*sobs* see how little you care, they were baked beans in HAM sauce and my favourite cartoony is Daffy Duck.

Happy New Year Robbert, no PhD but a Masters in insulting lunacy.