As Hurricane Frances moved across the Bahamas Islands, it churned ocean waters, bringing white carbonate sediment to the surface. The chalk-clouded waters are bright white after the storm, compared to the typical turquoise formed by the reflection of light off coral in the Great Bahama Bank through the Atlantic’s clear, shallow waters. Both of the above images were acquired by the Sea-viewing Wide Field of View Sensor (SeaWiFS). In the lower image, taken on September 1, 2004, Hurricane Frances is approaching the Bahamas from the east in the lower right corner. Frances is in the upper left corner of the top image, taken on September 6, after the storm had passed over the Bahamas.
Image provided by the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE
East of southern Florida, large swaths of ocean water glow peacock blue, thanks to their shallow depths. Near Florida and Cuba, the underwater terrain is hilly, and the crests of many of these hills comprise the islands of the Bahamas.