A coccolithophore bloom offshore Cape Blanc (NW Africa)!

Today I am sharing this wonderful image of a coccolithophore bloom! It was taken using and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and shows a view of the surface of the ocean (10m water depth) at 2000x magnification. This plankton sample was collected offshore Cape Blanc (NW Africa) and represents the easternmost side of our transatlantic array! This sampling site is located close to a region where coastal upwelling takes place on a yearlong basis which results in very high levels of phytoplankton productivity. The so-called “Giant Cape Blanc Filament” is a permanent upwelling filament of generally 50-70km wide, extending up to 600km offshore where it interacts with the deep-ocean boundary [1] [2].

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[1] Gabric, A.J., Garcia, L., Van Camp, L., Nykjaer, L., Eifler, W., Schrimpf, W., 1993. Offshore Export of Shelf Production in the Cape Blanc (Mauritania) Giant Filament as Derived From Coastal Zone Color Scanner Imagery. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 98, NO. C3, PAGES 4697-4712; [2] Van Camp, L., Nykjær, L., Mittelstaedt, E., Schlittenhardt, P., 1991. Upwelling and boundary circulation off Northwest Africa as depicted by infrared and visible satellite observations, Prog. Oceanogr., 26, 357–402.