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Phytoplankton Bloom off West Africa

Phytoplankton Bloom off West Africa

Bright patches of green and turquoise water ? most likely phytoplankton blooms ? are visible in this SeaWiFS image of the Atlantic Ocean off of western Africa, collected on March 29, 2003. The yellowish haze in the lower portion of the image is dust from the continent. It is possible that the phytoplankton bloom may have been stimulated by the iron-rich dust blowing from the Sahara Desert out over the Atlantic in recent weeks.

(Editor’s note: This image was posted because it is scientifically interesting. We are not suggesting that this particular bloom presents any kind of natural hazard.)

Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE