Phytoplankton bloom near Falkland Islands, South Atlantic Ocean
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
In the South Atlantic waters that surround the Falkland Islands, off the southeast coast of South America, bright blue and green patterns indicate vast populations of marine plants called phytoplankton. This true-color MODIS image from November 4, 2001, shows a bloom of the plants. Ocean circulation patterns make the area favorable for blooms of this kind. Warm waters from the south-flowing Brazil Current mix with a north-flowing branch of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, and this mixing brings up nutrients that feed the phytoplankton.