The Bering Straitthe stretch of water between Siberia and Alaskafeatures some of the worlds most productive ocean waters. This Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) image from June 26 & 27, 2000, shows phytoplankton covering vast stretches of water. Phytoplankoton are microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food chain.
The green water on the left features a high concentration of phytoplankton. On the right, off the west coast of Alaska, a bloom of a specific type of phytoplankton, coccolithophores, appears bright blue-green. Coccolithophores have white calcium-rich shells that reflect sunlight and brighten the water. The coccolithophore shellscoccolithshave persisted in the Bering Sea since 1997, but appear to be fading.
For more information see:
SeaWiFS home page
Changing Currents Color the Bering Sea a New Shade of Blue
Provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
- OrbView-2 - SeaWiFS