NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations

Ocean Color

Ocean Color is the water hue due to the presence of tiny plants containing the pigment chlorophyll, sediments, and colored dissolved organic material.


    Operational Products
Chlorophyll Concentration Chlorophyll concentration provides an estimate of the live phytoplankton biomass in the surface layer. It is also referred to as the amount of the green pigment chlorophyll. The chlorophyll anomaly is generated when today's chlorophyll concentration data is compared to the bi-monthly mean. A positive anomaly indicates new algal growth. Bi-monthly mean values are averages calculated over 61 days.

Product Links:
MODIS/Aqua NIR-SWIR - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean  |  Anomaly
MODIS/Aqua NASA L2gen NIR - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean  |  Anomaly
MODIS/Aqua Chesapeake Bay - Daily Mean  |  Monthly Mean

Sample Chlorophyll Concentration Anomaly Image


MODIS/Aqua Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: Daily
Harmful Algal Bloom Bulletins Harmful Algal Bloom bulletins are generated for the Gulf of Mexico by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS) and the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) to provide notification of bloom conditions to state and local coastal managers in the Gulf of Mexico. Bulletins include information on wind conditions, chlorophyll levels, and potential or actual bloom events and are generated in PDF format.

Product Links:
NOS / NESDIS Harmful Algal Bloom Site and Bulletins

This is a text product


POES Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: 1-2 / Week
Ocean Color
(Remote Sensing Reflectance)
Remote sensing reflectances (Rrs 665, 667 or 670 nm) provide a proxy for the suspended sediments in surface waters. The Rrs anomaly is generated when today's data is compared to the bi-monthly mean. Bi-monthly mean values are averages calculated over 61 days.

Product Links:
MODIS/Aqua NIR-SWIR - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean  |  Anomaly
MODIS/Aqua NASA L2gen NIR - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean  |  Anomaly
MODIS/Aqua Chesapeake Bay - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean

Sample MODIS Ocean Color Image


MODIS/Aqua Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: Daily
Ocean Color
(Water Attenuation Coefficient)
Water attenuation coefficient (Kd490) defines the presence of light (downwelling irradiance) versus depth, the depth of euphotic zone, and ultimately the maximum depth of primary production.

Product Links:
MODIS/Aqua NIR-SWIR - Daily Mean

Sample MODIS Ocean Color Image


MODIS/Aqua Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: Daily
MODIS/Aqua Chlorophyl Front Chlorophyll fronts are biogeographical/ecosystem boundaries associated with zones of elevated primary and secondary productivity and fisheries.

Product Links:
Magnitude  |  Direction

Sample MODIS Chlorophyl Front Image


MODIS/Aqua Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: Daily
    Backup Products
Chlorophyll Concentration Chlorophyll concentration provides an estimate of the live phytoplankton biomass in the surface layer. It is also referred to as the amount of the green pigment chlorophyll. The chlorophyll anomaly is generated when today's chlorophyll concentration data is compared to the bi-monthly mean. A positive anomaly indicates new algal growth. Bi-monthly mean values are averages calculated over 61 days.

Product Links:
MODIS/Terra NASA L2gen NIR - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean  |  Anomaly

Sample Chlorophyll Concentration Anomaly Image


MODIS/Terra Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: Daily
Ocean Color
(Remote Sensing Reflectance)
Remote sensing reflectances (Rrs 665, 667 or 670 nm) provide a proxy for the suspended sediments in surface waters. The Rrs anomaly is generated when today's data is compared to the bi-monthly mean. Bi-monthly mean values are averages calculated over 61 days.

Product Links:
MODIS/Terra NASA L2gen NIR - Daily Mean  |  Bimonthly Mean  |  Anomaly

Sample MODIS Ocean Color Image


MODIS/Terra Resolution: 1 Km Frequency: Daily

For a description of the file naming conventions, see: ftp://cw-okeanos.noaa.gov/pub/data1/README_file_names.txt