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

Benguela Current

Northward winds along the West Coast of Southern Africa drive the Benguela Current. This sea current powers offshore "Ekman transport" driven up-welling of deep nutrient-rich water to the euphotic zone where highly productive phytoplankton grow and act as the foundation of the Benguela coastal marine ecosystem. Distinctive bathymetry (sea floor topography), hydrography, chemistry and trophodynamics combine to make the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME) one of the most productive ocean fisheries in the world with mean annual primary productivity at around 1.25 kilograms (2.75 lbs) of carbon ("marine biomass") per square meter, per year.

This image was taken by the MODIS instrument aboard the Aqua spacecraft on April 18, 2022. Click on it to see a larger image.

Visit the image gallery archive for additional ocean color features.