Earth  ID: 3877

Dynamic Earth Dome Show - Biosphere

This visualization was a prototype affiliated with the 'Dynamic Earth', an Earth science planetarium show. The visualization shows the global biosphere and NDVI from the SeaWiFS instrument with MODIS ice and snow overlayed.The images were rendered using a fish eye technique so that they would project properly onto a planetarium dome.

Earth scientists are able to measure many of the Earth's 'vital signs', and just like a doctor measures our vital signs to see how healthy we are. Scientists will use these measurements of the Earth to better understand how the Earth functions, how the different systems on Earth interact and how those interactions have set the stage upon which life flourishes. The visualization shows a timeseries of images of SeaWiFS Global Biosphere - the ocean's long-term average phytoplankton chlorophyll concentration acquired between September 1997 and September 2007 combined with the SeaWiFS-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index over land. On land, the dark greens show where there is abundant vegetation and tans show relatively sparse plant cover. In the oceans, red, yellow, and green pixels show dense phytoplankton blooms, those regions of the ocean that are the most productive over time, while blues and purples show where there is very little of the microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton.

Remote sensing, especially using satellite-mounted colour scanners (SeaWiFS and similar platforms), is advocated for broad-based monitoring of chlorophyll once appropriate algorithms have been developed and proved. The concentration of the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll a (referred to as chlorophyll) in marine waters is a proven indicator of the biomass of phytoplankton, the organisms that constitute the base of the marine food web. Fluorometry provides an estimate of chlorophyll levels in sea water and thus an estimate of primary productivity in the upper part of the water column.

For more information on monitoring the Earth from Space with SeaWIFS see

Visualization Credits

Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Cindy Starr (GST): Visualizer
Thomas Lucas (Thomas Lucas Productions): Producer
Gene Feldman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
James W. Williams (GST): Project Support
Shiloh Heurich (GST): Project Support
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 (NOTE: In January 2013, DigitalGlobe and GeoEye combined to become DigitalGlobe).

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).

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Data Used:
Terra and Aqua/MODIS/Blue Marble Land Cover 2002
SeaStar/SeaWiFS/Chlorophyll Concentration July 2002 through Sep 2007
SeaStar/SeaWiFS/NDVI Oct 1998 through Sep 2007
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:
Dome Show Planetarium
Dynamic Earth Dome Show

DLESE >> Biology
DLESE >> Cryology
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Biosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Snow/Ice
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Sea Ice >> Ice Extent
NASA Science >> Earth

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