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OCEAN COLOR FROM SPACE: Upwelling Dynamics

Peru Upwelling Zone Northwest Africa Upwelling Zone

Waters off Peru (left) and northwest Africa (right) are among the most productive in the global ocean.The Peru/Pacific composite covers 16-26 January 1980; the Africa/Atlantic composite 16 - 22 December 1979.Nutrients injected by wind-driven coastal upwelling result in high phytoplankton biomass and productivity; this supports some of the world's richest fisheries.The upwelling is reflected here as 100-km-wide chlorophyll-rich bands along both coasts, and plumes of productive waters extending 500 to 1,000 km offshore. Island-induced upwelling generates highly productive regions around the Galapagos Archipelago (left, center).

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Last updated: Apr 07, 2016 12:37 PM ET
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