NASA’s Aqua Satellite has captured the spring bloom of phytoplankton off the coast of Iceland
NASA’s Aqua Satellite has captured the spring bloom of phytoplankton off the coast of Iceland, reports Vísir.
“We don’t always get such good pictures of the phenomenon because it’s often very cloudy in that region,” said Agnes Eydal, biologist with the Marine Research Institute. “But after the satellite began to take these pictures, the distribution of this species pretty well mapped out.”
According to the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, phytoplankton blooms around Iceland usually occur in early spring and fall. The spring bloom is driven by longer daylight and the warming of surface layers. This leads to stratification of the waters, and allows the phytoplankton to stay in the surface layer and reproduce. By summer the huge numbers of phytoplankton in the blooms decreases nutrients, and the numbers of the organisms begins to plummet.