Spring Bloom and Dust off Argentina



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English: A pale brown plume of dust swept out of Argentina’s Pampas, a heavily farmed grassland, and split into two plumes over the South Atlantic Ocean. The wide arc and subtle curls within the dust plume complement the patterns visible in the ocean beneath it. Peacock-coloured, the South Atlantic Ocean was in full bloom: A display of blue and green streaks and swirls peek from beneath the dust storm. The wind-blown dust also carries iron and other nutrients that fertilize already fertile ocean waters. The surface-dwelling phytoplankton colour the ocean, contributing to the brilliant colour seen in the image. Sediment from the Rio de la Plata may also be contributing to the ocean colour. The southern edge of the brown, sediment-filled estuary is visible along the top of the image. Like dust, sediment from river plumes also adds nutrients to the ocean, further supporting phytoplankton blooms. The transition from ocean bloom to airborne dust blurs along the north side of the dust plume. A murky green ribbon of plankton or sediment winds north-south on the surface of the ocean from beneath the clouds to the dust plume. The green-brown band of colour continues to be visible beneath the dust plume, but its colour blends with the dust, making it appear as if the ocean is projecting its colour into the sky.
Date 9 November 2009(2009-11-09)
Source NASA Earth Observatory
Author Jeff Schmaltz

Image captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Image courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.


Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)


Public Domain


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