St. Patrick’s Day starts early in Antarctica’s Granite Harbor • Earth.com

Last update: September 14th, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a beautiful emerald green effect swirling through the waters off the coast of Antarctica’s Granite Harbor. The photo was taken by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on board the Landsat 8 satellite.

According to Jan Lieser, marine glaciologist from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center in Australia, the green coloring is likely the result of phytoplankton floating atop the surface water that has also attached itself to the slush and ice. Phytoplankton and other microalgae often thrive this time of year as temperatures warm and sea ice melts, while the added sunlight allows for an increased rate of photosynthesis.

Granite Harbor is located between Cape Archer and Cape Roberts, measuring roughly 14 nautical miles in length.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Source: NASA

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