Phytoplankton bloom off Newfoundland, Canada

Phytoplankton bloom off Newfoundland, Canada
  • Credit:

    Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

This Terra MODIS image of Newfoundland Island, Canada features a phytoplankton bloom in the waters of the Cabot Strait. Phytoplankton are tiny microorganisms that thrive in cold, nutrient-rich waters and which use chlorophyll to create energy. It is the reflection of sunlight off of the chlorophyll that turns the water this particularly vibrant shade of turquoise. The swirls in the bloom are caused by currents in the Cabot Strait moving around the upper layers of the water where the phytoplankton live.

To the left of Newfoundland Island is the province of Newfoundland, and just visible in the bottom left corner is Nova Scotia. This true-color image was acquired July 29, 2002.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 650x850
  • JPEG 83 KB
  • 1300x1700
  • JPEG 252 KB
  • 2600x3400
  • JPEG 659 KB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    July 29, 2002
  • Visualization Date:

    August 26, 2002
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration