The Harmful Algae Page

Harmful Algal Bloom Photo Gallery

All readers are invited to submit their optical creations of HAB phenomena

"visible" phytoplankton blooms

California Noctiluca Bloom

Florida Red Tide Bloom of Karenia brevis

Texas Brown Tide Bloom of Aureoumbra

Close-up of a Texas Brown Tide Bloom of Aureoumbra

York River (Chesapeake Bay) Red Tide Bloom of Cochlodinium heterolobatum

1999 Hong Kong Red Tide (Unidentified species)

9/21/99 9/23/99 9/29/99
Prorocentrum micans bloom, Bigelow Laboratory, Maine

This red tide bloom followed closely after heavy rains associated with Hurricane Floyd, which ended a very dry summer. The photo on the left shows the surface slick of the bloom. The middle photo shows how the bloom appeared after wind dispersed it in the surface waters. The photo on the right depicts the same area after the bloom period was over. (All 3 photos credit - Maureen Keller, Bigelow Lab.)

Nodularia spumigens bloom, January 2002, in the Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, Australia
Photo credit: J.D. Kinnon

photomicrographs of Harmful Algal Species

Immunofluorescently-labeled Alexandrium cell

Alexandrium sp. (most likely fundyense) from a bloom near Casco Bay, Maine in 1998. The Alexandrium cell (about 35µm in diameter) is the smaller of the two cells. It shows the red autofluorescence of the chlorophyll surrounded by a bright green immunofluorescent stain that specifically targets the cell surface antigens of Alexandrium. The other larger cell is a co-occurring heterotrophic Protoperidinium sp. that lacks chlorophyll. (Kristin Gribble, WHOI)

Fluorescently-labeled Alexandrium cell

Mixed bloom of Dinophysis acuta and D. norvegica co-occurring with a bloom of Ceratium furca

satellite imagery during bloom events

North Carolina Sea Surface Temperature image of a Karenia brevis bloom

The image to the left is an AVHRR satellite infrared image depicting sea-surface temperature off the coast of North Carolina in late October, 1987. This advanced, very high resolution radiometer (AVHRR) photo shows a blue filament of Gulf Stream water (24-25°C) near Cape lookout that is now known to have transported toxic Karenia brevis cells from the Gulf Stream (deep blue), into the colder (yellow) coastal waters. The filament remained detectable in satellite images for three weeks. (T. Leming)

Gulf of Maine Sea Surface Temperature image of an Alexandrium sp. bloom

Along the southern Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts coastlines, Alexandrium blooms are known to be associated with a lower salinity, warmer water mass (termed the Western Maine Coastal Current) that forms during spring due to runoff of local rivers. Satellite-derived Sea Surface Temperature (SST) imagery can be used to show the location of the warmer waters of the WMCC and associated Alexandrium cells as it is influenced by winds. (Click on the thumbnail image to the left.) Visible in the larger image is a narrow band of deeper colder water (blue) that came to the surface adjacent to the coast and replaced the warmer WMCC waters (yellow, orange and red) that were transported offshore by southwesterly winds. Under these conditions (known as upwelling), shellfish toxicity declined along the coast the Alexandrium cells were transported offshore with the waters of the WMCC. (NOAA Coastwatch, Bruce Keafer, WHOI)

Florida Coastal Zone Color Scanner Image (CZCS) of a Karenia brevis bloom

This coastal zone color scanner (CZCS) image indicates a red tide bloom in November, 1978. The red areas south of Sarasota have chlorophyll a concentrations of greater than 3 micrograms per liter. Water samples confirmed the presence of K. brevis in those waters.

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