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Phytoplankton Blooms through the Eyes of SeaWiFS Data

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. 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. Dark gray indicate areas where no data was collected.
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Animation depicting nearly a decades worth of SeaWiFS ocean chlorophyll concentration and land Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data.    Animation depicting nearly a decades worth of SeaWiFS ocean chlorophyll concentration and land Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data.
Duration: 2.7 minutes
Available formats:
  1920x1080 (60 fps) MPEG-4   126 MB
  1920x1080 (60 fps) MPEG-2   308 MB
  1920x1080 (30 fps) MPEG-2   203 MB
  512x288 (60 fps) MPEG-1   26 MB
  512x288 (30 fps) MPEG-1   22 MB
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  320x180     PNG           48 KB
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Animation Number:3599
Animator:Alex Kekesi (GST) (Lead)
Scientist:Michael Behrenfeld (Oregon State University)
Platform/Sensor/Data Set:SeaStar/SeaWiFS/Global Biosphere (08/29/1997 - 10/23/2006)
Data Collected:08/29/1997 - 10/23/2006
Series:Ocean Productivity
Please give credit for this item to:
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 (

Data provided by: Norman Kuring (NASA/GSFC)
DLESE >> Chemical oceanography
DLESE >> Ecology
DLESE >> Environmental science
DLESE >> Hydrology
DLESE >> Physical oceanography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Vegetation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Ecological Dynamics >> Food-web Dynamics
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Microbiota >> Chlorophyll
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Vegetation >> Chlorophyll
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere >> Vegetation >> Vegetation Index
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Water Quality/Water Chemistry >> Chlorophyll
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Oceans >> Ocean Chemistry >> Chlorophyll
SVS >> Copenhagen
SVS >> For Educators
SVS >> Photosynthesis
SVS >> Food Chain
SVS >> Ocean Chlorophyll

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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These 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 logo - the U.S. Government's official Web portal. + Privacy Policy and Important Notices
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