Chlorophyll Concentration (1 month - Aqua/MODIS)

Chlorophyll Concentration (1 month - Aqua/MODIS) | NASA

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About this dataset

This map shows where tiny, floating plants live in the ocean. These plants, called phytoplankton, are an important part of the ocean's food chain because many animals (such as small fish and whales) feed on them. Scientists can learn a lot about the ocean by observing where and when phytoplankton grow in large numbers. Scientists use satellites to measure how much phytoplankton are growing in the ocean by observing the color of the light reflected from the shallow depths of the water. Phytoplankton contain a photosynthetic pigment called chlorophyll that lends them a greenish color. When phytoplankton grow in large numbers they make the ocean appear greenish. These maps made from satellite observations show where and how much phytoplankton were growing on a given day, or over a span of days. The black areas show where the satellite could not measure phytoplankton.

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May 2024

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Related Websites

NASA OceanColor Web



Further Reading
Hu, C., Z. Lee, and B.A. Franz (2012). Chlorophyll-a algorithms for oligotrophic oceans: A novel approach based on three-band reflectance difference, J. Geophys. Res., 117, C01011, doi:10.1029/2011JC007395.

ATBD (Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document)

Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Aqua Chlorophyll Data; 2014 Reprocessing
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Ocean Ecology Laboratory, Ocean Biology Processing Group. NASA OB.DAAC, Greenbelt, MD, USA. doi: 10.5067/AQUA/MODIS/L3B/CHL/2014.


Imagery produced by the NASA Earth Observations (NEO) in coordination with Gene Feldman and Norman Kuring, NASA Goddard Ocean Color Group.

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for Chlorophyll Concentration (1 month - Aqua/MODIS)

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