NASA's OceanColor Web is supported by the Ocean Biology Processing Group (OBPG) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Our responsibilities include the collection, processing, calibration, validation, archive and distribution of ocean-related products from a large number of operational, satellite-based remote-sensing missions providing ocean color, sea surface temperature and sea surface salinity data to the international research community since 1996.

Ocean Color Feature

Why Ocean Color from Space?

Winds, tides, and density differences constantly stir the oceans while phytoplankton continually grow and die. Without orbiting radiometers we would be unable to track this variability over time and would have a much poorer understanding of ocean processes that are critical to our survival.

The composite below comprises data collected by Suomi-NPP/VIIRS on April 9, 2015. A larger (6.5 megabyte) version is also available.

SeaDAS icon

SeaDAS is an image analysis package for the processing and display of satellite ocean color data.

SeaBASS icon

SeaBASS is a repository of in situ oceanographic data to support algorithm development and satellite data product validation activities.


The OBPG serves as a Distributed Active Archive Center for satellite ocean biology data produced or collected under NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System, including those from historical missions and partner space organizations.

FSG icon

The OBPG maintains a Field Support Group that collects in situ data, engages in community measurement protocols activities, and hosts an HPLC phytoplankton pigment processing facility.