15 Jan '12, 10pm

Phytoplankton bloom, as seen from space

Phytoplankton bloom, as seen from space

The most interesting art often arises from the convergence of different ideas and influences. And so it is with nature sometimes. Off the coast of Argentina, two strong ocean currents recently stirred up a colorful brew of floating nutrients and microscopic plant life just in time for the summer solstice. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of a massive phytoplankton bloom off of the Atlantic coast of Patagonia on December 21, 2010. Scientists used seven separate different spectral bands to highlight the differences in the plankton communities across this swath of ocean. This milky green and blue bloom developed on the continental shelf off of Patagonia, where warmer, saltier coastal waters and currents from the subtropics meet the colder, fresher waters flowing up from the south. Where these currents colli...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=48244

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