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Figure 1 : Left, SeaWiFS ocean color image of Monterey Bay and the outer waters of the California Current System, captured in Jan. 1998. The blue areas denote low chlorophyll levels while the yellow and red areas signify high levels of chlorophyll. Contrast the winter image on the left to the image on the right, captured in May 1998, during the spring upwelling period.


Satellite observations can provide insight to the marine biosphere due to their large area of coverage and frequency of observations. Ocean color satellites quantify key properties on a global basis. These properties are (1) the optical attenuation length, which controls the depth of solar light penetration and heating and the depth at which photosynthesis can occur, (2) the abundance and distribution of plant pigments which is a surrogate for the biomass of marine phytoplankton and (3) the concentration of colored dissolved organic carbon (Esaias et al, 1995). 

MBARI serves as a ground station for the SeaWiFS ocean color satellite system covering the Monterey Bay and waters of the California Current System. In addition we maintain a collection of AVHRR images from the NOAA-12 and NOAA-14 satellites.

Satellite images are no longer available from this site as we no longer maintain a contract with Orbimage. Please use the SeaWiFS HRPT Browser

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If you have comments regarding the Biological Oceanography Group's web pages you are welcome to contact us through our group's webmaster, reiko at mbari.org.

Last updated: Aug. 19, 2014

MBARI provides data "as is", with no warranty, express or implied, of the quality or consistency. Data are provided without support and without obligation on the part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to assist in its use, correction, modification, or enhancement.