Meassure by satellite, maps of ocean color do not represent the true color of the ocean but rather the amount of chlorophyll present, outlining differences in chlorophyll across the sea surface. Concentrations of chlorophyll that are biologically driven, vary between shelf waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Loop Current. As a result, these differences help to define Gulf of Mexico circulation features of interest to decision makers, managers, and scientists.
The map below shows the ocean color (chlorophyll-a) fields in the Gulf of Mexico using MODIS/Aqua data from CoastWatch Caribbean Regional Node. This 36-band satellite sensor is a primary source of ocean color data since its launch in May 4th, 2002. Gray areas indicate regions covered by clouds obscuring the view of the ocean surface from the satellite sensors.
The map below shows the ocean color (chlorophyll-a) fields in the Gulf of Mexico using 3-day composites of MODIS/Aqua data from CoastWatch Caribbean Regional Node. These composites images allow to observe the ocean color field in the region with a better coverage than the one provided by the daily fields above.
The map below shows the color (chlorophyll-a) field in the Gulf of Mexico.