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OCEAN COLOR FROM SPACE: Coastal Features

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Pigment distributions off the northeast coast of South America (left, Sept. 1979) are dominated by the influence of two great rivers--the Amazon and the Orinoco--which together contribute 20 percent of the global river discharge to the ocean.The Orinoco plume extends into the Caribbean, while the Amazon plume flows north along the Brazilian coast and then meanders eastward across the Atlantic, influenced by the North Equatorial Countercurrent.The tongue of cold, nutrient-rich water of the Malvinas/Falkland Current borders on the productive waters at the edge of the Argentinian continental shelf (inside left, April 1979).The shallow, coastal waters which border the Gulf of Mexico (inside right, Oct. 1979) support rich fisheries.Ocean currents flowing past the Maldive Islands off the southern coast of India (right, Dec. 1979), stimulate plumes of plankton-rich water.

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