Phytoplankton bloom off South Africa

Phytoplankton bloom off South Africa
  • Credit:

    Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Since late March 2003, a phytoplankton bloom has been occurring off the western coast of South Africa. Reports from water sampling at the site indicate that it is a rather unusual red tide containing a mixture of organisms called dinoflagellates and a species of coccolithophore called Syrachosphaera pulchra, which is an unusually large species of coccolithophore. A coccolithophore is an organism that has a chalky, calcium-based outer covering that reflects sunlight very strongly back from the ocean surface. Ocean waters that contain the organism appear very bright blue or green. This series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images were acquired in March and April 2003 by the Terra and Aqua satellites. In some images, a handful of fires (red dots) are visible in South Africa.

Images & Animations

File

File Dimensions

  • 450x600
  • JPEG 52 KB
  • 900x1200
  • JPEG 168 KB
  • 1800x2400
  • JPEG 442 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.

Metadata

  • Data Date:

    April 4, 2003
  • Visualization Date:

    April 28, 2003
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration