NASA image: Phytoplankton bloom off the coast of Iceland

Jun 23, 2014
Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

A spring bloom of phytoplankton lingered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Iceland in early June, 2014.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on June 5. At that time, swirling jewel tones of a vast bloom were visible between banks of white clouds.

According to the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, around Iceland usually occur in early spring and fall.

The is driven by longer daylight and the warming of surface layers. This leads to stratification of the waters, and allows the phytoplankton to stay in the surface layer and reproduce.

By summer the huge numbers of phytoplankton in the blooms decreases nutrients, and the numbers of the organisms begins to plummet.

Explore further: New, tighter timeline confirms ancient volcanism aligned with dinosaurs' extinction

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Phytoplankton Bloom in the Norwegian Sea

Jul 16, 2013

(Phys.org) —The waters off Iceland rank among the world's most productive fisheries. The reason for the abundance is an ample supply of phytoplankton, the base of the marine food chain. Like any plant, ...

Image: Phytoplankton Bloom in the North Atlantic

May 26, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Late May 2010 brought peacock-hued swirls of blue and green to the North Atlantic. The iridescent waters formed a giant arc hundreds of kilometers across, extending from west of Ireland to ...

Earth from Space: A southern summer bloom

Jan 16, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- In this Envisat image, a phytoplankton bloom swirls a figure-of-8 in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands.   During this period in the southern hemisphere, ...

Researchers discover arctic blooms occurring earlier

Mar 02, 2011

Warming temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic may be behind a progressively earlier bloom of a crucial annual marine event, and the shift could hold consequences for the entire food chain and carbon cycling ...

Recommended for you

NASA's spaceborne carbon counter maps new details

17 minutes ago

The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission demonstrate its performance and promise, showing elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the ...

Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing

1 hour ago

A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted Friday, spewing towering clouds of hot ash into the air and sending a group of hikers to scramble to safety, leaving nine injured and one missing, an official said.

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

20 hours ago

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods pack a double punch. Heavy rains and melting snow wash down the mountains together to breach riverbanks, wash out roads and flood buildings.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.