The May 2001 bloom : the largest bloom observed over the 4 year period of SeaWiFS observation


Images of May 20 (first day of a sunny period) and May 29.

The second image shows the maximal extend of a bloom ever observed by SeaWiFS in the Bay of Biscay. Areas in green on the edge of the continental shelf or offshore are masked through a maximum threshold in reflectance. The optical characteristics of these highly reflective waters are mainly generated by coccolithophorid algae and, as in case of suspended matters, a classical chlorophyll algorithm would overestimate the chlorophyll concentration in such areas.

image11 As a consequence of the high river discharge (3777 m3/s on May 10 ) in the first part of May , the plume of river Loire extends far offshore. The maximum brown disk surface is related to the maximal outflow (about 5000 m3/s) observed through the period 1998-2000.