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The following animation shows the westward propagation of spring phytoplankton blooms in 1999. The propagation is likely caused by timing difference in local blooms (due to different degree of salinity stratification) rather than the advection of phytoplankton biomass, since the time scale for advective transport of surface water from the NSS to the western GoM is estimated to be greater than three months.

The following figure shows the difference between year 1999 and 2000.

Data source: NASA ocean-color website (


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Last updated July 10, 2008
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