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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 16:25 EDT
Phytoplankton off the West Coast of Africa
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Phytoplankton off the West Coast of Africa

March 16, 2003
Just off the coast of West Africa, persistent northeasterly trade winds often churn up deep ocean water. When the nutrients in these deep waters reach the ocean’s surface, they often give rise to large blooms of phytoplankton. This image of the Mauritanian coast shows swirls of phytoplankton fed by the upwelling of nutrient-rich water. The scene was acquired by the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) aboard the European Space Agency’s ENVISAT.