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CZCS Mediterranean, May 1980

The relatively clear, pigment-poor waters of the Mediterranean contrast sharply with the plankton-rich Atlantic waters off northwest Spain (upper left). Clearly evident in this view of the Mediterranean is the well-known pigment front along southern France and Spain.The image is produced from 30 scenes acquired during May 1980.The gyre in the Alboran Sea near the Straits of Gibraltar is caused by complex circulation patterns resulting from water exchange between the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean.In some cases localized areas of high production may be due to pollution from human activities.

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Last updated: Feb 21, 2013 04:42 PM ET