Pollution at Sea

Surface Debris
Red Sea

Surface Debris, Red Sea

Flight 41C; 23N, 38.5E, 7 April 1984

Photographs of the Red Sea frequently provide images of surface debris that appears similar to that observed on Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman waters. The material lacks the iridescent colors of petroleum slicks, however, indicating the natural (biological) origin of the slicks. The Red Sea has a great population of plankton, such that at times the sea surface is reddish colored; thence the name of the sea. The massive plankton blooms produce such quantities of natural debris that wave action causes it to form into concentrated broad areas, as in the view photographed from the Challenger in April 1984.

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