Coccoliths in the Celtic Sea
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Coccoliths in the Celtic Sea

October 8, 2003
Coccolithophores are a group of phytoplankton that are identifiable from space. These microscopic plants armor themselves with external plates of calcium carbonate. The plates, or coccoliths, give the ocean a milky white or turquoise appearance during intense blooms. The long-term flux of coccoliths to the ocean floor is the main process responsible for the formation of chalk and limestone. This image is a natural-color view of the Celtic Sea and English Channel regions, and was acquired by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer’s nadir (vertical-viewing) camera on June 4, 2001.

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