The SeaWiFS instrument aboard the SeaStar satellite has been collecting ocean data since 1997. By monitoring the color of reflected light via satellite, scientists can determine how successfully plant life is photosynthesizing. A measurement of photosynthesis is essentially a measurement of successful growth, and growth means successful use of ambient carbon. This animation represents nearly a decade's worth of data taken by the SeaWiFS instrument, showing the abundance of life in the sea in and around the Gulf of Mexico. Dark blue represents warmer areas where there is little life due to lack of nutrients, and greens and reds represent cooler nutrient-rich areas. The nutrient-rich areas include coastal regions where cold water rises from the sea floor bringing nutrients along and areas at the mouths of rivers where the rivers have brought nutrients into the ocean from the land. The nutrient-rich waters contribute to some of the oxygen-poor pockets of the seas called dead zones.
This animation begins with the wide shot of the United States and zooms down to the Gulf of Mexico while cycling through nearly ten years of SeaWiFS biosphere data. This version is annotated with corresponding dates.
Alex Kekesi (GST): Lead Animator Laura Motel (UMBC): Producer Maria Frostic (UMBC): Producer Gene Feldman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, The SeaWiFS Project and GeoEye, Scientific Visualization Studio. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data presented on this web site are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with GeoEye (http://www.geoeye.com).
Short URL to share this page: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?3518
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 126.96.36.199.0