Sea Color

  

The color of the water is also determined by looking at the secchi disc. If you lower the secchi disc a couple of feet under the water you can see what color the water is on a white background. Since the plankton content of the water determines the cloudiness it is also a large factor in determining the color of the water. Sometimes the water turns a reddish brown color. This is called red tide, and is caused by a bloom of dynoflagellates. This type of dynoflagellate multiplies quickly when there are a lot of nutrients in the water or when the water is unusually warm, causing the water to become reddish brown. Sometimes when there is a lot of phytoplankton in the water, it looks green because of the chlorophyll contained in phytoplankton. And sometimes the zooplankton turns greenish brown from eating so much plant plankton.

Marine Biology
Marine Ecology
Marine Navigation

BLOOM
A sudden increase in the number of phytoplankton often following a flood of nutrients from heavy rain or a string of sunny days.

CHLOROPHYLL
The pigment used in photosynthesis to capture light energy and convert it to chemical energy.

DYNOFLAGELLATE
A type of plankton with two long whip-like organs called flagella used for locomotion.

RED TIDE
A bloom of phytoplankton, usually dynoflagellates.