• Arabian Sea
  • Aqua/MODIS
  • 02/14/2015

What are the green swirls in the Arabian Sea?

Movement of oxygen poor waters into the Arabian Sea has led to a dramatic shift in the composition of winter blooms of microscopic organisms called phytoplankton. Diatom blooms, characteristic of nutrient-rich waters, have been replaced with widespread blooms of a large, green dinoflagellates, which could cause large disruptions to regional fisheries and the ecosystems of this region.

Monitoring Phytoplankton from Space

The Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on board both NASA's Terra and Aqua Earth observing satellites captures data in 36 spectral bands and at several resolutions. Within ocean science, MODIS provides valuable information about global ocean color, phytoplankton, and biogeochemistry.


The Earth Observing System Data and Information System is a key core capability in NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems Program. It provides end-to-end capabilities for managing NASA’s Earth science data from various sources—satellites, aircraft, field measurements, and various other programs.

Chlorophyll-a concentration in the Caspian Sea

Image captured on 26 July 2015, by the MODIS instrument on board the Aqua satellite.

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Webinar - Distributing Real-Time GNSS Data at the NASA CDDIS

Snow in New Zealand

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