Ocean waters glowed bright peacock green off the northern Namibian coast in late November 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on November 21, 2010.
These bright swirls of green occur along a continental shelf bustling with biological activity. Phytoplankton blooms often occur along coastlines where nutrient-rich waters well up from ocean depths. The light color of this ocean water suggests the calcite plating of coccolithophores.
Phytoplankton blooms and the bacteria that break them down can create a complex network along a continental shelf. This swirl of peacock green could contain phytoplankton, sulfur, or a combination.