The Mystery of the Giant Blue Vortex
What is this Giant Glowing Vortex?


Science Channel | What On Earth? | Discovery Science


Science Channel | What On Earth? | Discovery Science


Published on May 13, 2016
If this isn't satellite imagery of a whirlpool, what is it? It's 100 miles across!





SOURCE:
What is this Giant Glowing Vortex? - Science Channel | What On Earth? | Discovery Science



Satellite captures enormous 90-mile-wide storm that's UNDERWATER


Credit: NASA
By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 09:38 EDT, 21 February 2012

A Nasa satellite has provided jaw-dropping pictures of a huge 'storm' brewing under the sea.
The swirling mass of water - which measures a whopping 93 miles wide - has been spotted off the coast of South Africa by the Terra satellite on December 26.

But there's no need to alert international shipping, or worry about the poor fish that might find themselves in an endless washing cycle - the body of water poses no threat.


Stunning image: The 90-mile-wide whirlpool, spotted off the coast of South Africa
by Nasa's Terra satellite, looks deadly but it more likely to create life by lifting nutrients from the ocean floor

Indeed, it is more likely to create life by sucking nutrients from the bed and bringing them to the surface. The sea storms - which are better known as eddies - form bizarre whirl shaped shapes deep beneath the ocean's surface. This counter-clockwise eddy is thought to have peeled off from the Agulhas Current, which flows along the southeastern coast of Africa and around the tip of South Africa.


Closer look: A detail from the Terra photo shows the eddy is turning counter-clockwise -
with the water surrounding it becoming a deeper blue the further it is from the centre


Agulhas eddies - also called 'current rings' - tend to be among the largest in the world, transporting warm, salty water from the Indian Ocean to the South Atlantic.

Agulhas eddies can remove juvenile fish from the continental shelf, reducing catch sizes if one passes through a fishing region. The bizarre phenomenon was spotted when the Terra satellite was conducting a routine natural-colour image of the Earth.

SOURCE: DAILY MAIL


 
Spiral of Plankton


Credit: NASA Earth Observatory acquired December 30, 2013
Full Size Image


While the northern latitudes are bathed in the dull colors and light of mid-winter, the waters of the southern hemisphere are alive with mid-summer blooms. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color satellite image of a plankton bloom as it appeared at 1:05 p.m. local time on December 30, 2013. The eddy is centered at roughly 40° South latitude and 120° East longitude, about 600 kilometers off the coast of Australia in the southeastern Indian Ocean.

Like land-based plants, phytoplankton require sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow. Sunlight is now abundant in the far southern latitudes, so nutrients are the limiting variable to phytoplankton growth. Open waters of the ocean can appear relatively barren compared to the nutrient-rich waters near the world’s coasts. In the case of the bloom above, the nutrients may have been supplied by the churning action of ocean currents.

As the close-up image shows, an eddy is outlined by a milky green phytoplankton bloom. Eddies are masses of water that typically spin off of larger currents and rotate in whirlpool-like fashion. They can stretch for hundreds of kilometers and last for months. As these water masses stir the ocean, they can draw nutrients up from the deep, fertilizing the surface waters to create blooms in the open ocean. Other times, they carry in nutrients spun off of other currents.

It is possible that the mesoscale eddy and plankton bloom shown above are related to the “great southern coccolithophore belt” (or the “great calcite belt.”) In late southern spring and summer (roughly November to March), satellite instruments detect an abundance of particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) in waters at high latitudes. The PIC is often due to calcium carbonate, which makes up the plate-like shells of microscopic plankton known as coccolithophores. The calcium carbonate gives the water a chalky aquamarine hue.

References:
Instrument(s):
Aqua - MODIS

SOURCE: NASA Earth Observatory

While the northern latitudes are bathed in the dull colors and light of mid-winter, the waters of the southern hemisphere are alive with mid-summer blooms. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color satellite image of a plankton bloom as it appeared at 1:05 p.m. local time on December 30, 2013. The eddy is centered at roughly 40° South latitude and 120° East longitude, about 600 kilometers off the coast of Australia in the southeastern Indian Ocean.

Like land-based plants, phytoplankton require sunlight, water, and nutrients to grow. Sunlight is now abundant in the far southern latitudes, so nutrients are the limiting variable to phytoplankton growth. Open waters of the ocean can appear relatively barren compared to the nutrient-rich waters near the world’s coasts. In the case of the bloom above, the nutrients may have been supplied by the churning action of ocean currents.

As this image shows, an eddy is outlined by a milky green phytoplankton bloom. Eddies are masses of water that typically spin off of larger currents and rotate in whirlpool-like fashion. They can stretch for hundreds of kilometers and last for months. As these water masses stir the ocean, they can draw nutrients up from the deep, fertilizing the surface waters to create blooms in the open ocean. Other times, they carry in nutrients spun off of other currents.

It is possible that the mesoscale eddy and plankton bloom shown above are related to the “great southern coccolithophore belt” (or the “great calcite belt.”) In late southern spring and summer (roughly November to March), satellite instruments detect an abundance of particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) in waters at high latitudes. The PIC is often due to calcium carbonate, which makes up the plate-like shells of microscopic plankton known as coccolithophores. The calcium carbonate gives the water a chalky aquamarine hue.

Image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, NASA Earth Observatory, using data from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE). Caption by Michael Carlowicz, NASA Earth Observatory, with image interpretation help from Norman Kuring, NASA Ocean Color Group.

SOURCE: NASA AQUA Project Science




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The Mystery of the Giant Blue Vortex What is this Giant Glowing Vortex?