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Bering Sea Green Belt

Bering Sea, June 13, 2018

The waters of the Bering Sea are highly productive in the springtime when increasing sunlight and ample nutrients fuel explosive growth of phytoplankton. Over the years of the satellite-ocean-color era, researchers have noted that a green belt of productive water often forms along the edge of the continental shelf. The phytoplankton in this green belt may be benefitting from extra dissolved iron flowing in from the outer shelf sediments.

The orange line on the above VIIRS image shows the rough location of the shelf break as the 200-meter depth contour. These data were collected on June 13, 2018 (June 14 on the Russian side).