Topic Media - Archived

Are the Oceans all the Same Color?

Description

depth and life make the difference

Caption

The picture above is of the Gulf stream, in the Atlantic Ocean just off the east coast of the United States. The white areas are clouds that were above the water when the picture was taken. But the colors are enhanced versions of different colors in the water. These colors are due to different amounts of phytoplankton, which are tiny plants. Near the shore and also in the north, the waters are cooler and rich in nutrients, allowing the phytoplankton to thrive. This can be seen by the red and orange areas. In the warmer waters, the phytoplankton can't survive as well, and there isn't as much of it. These areas are colored blue. The swirls are caused by turbulence and eddies in the water, where the warm and cold parts mix.

Credit

NASA/GSFC

Topic Filename Media Filename

topics/oceancolor.top

topics/czcs.gif

Source URL

 

More Info URL

http://disc.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceancolor/index.shtml