NASA: Gonzalo Stirred Up Our Ocean Sediment

October 22, 2014

[Updated] NASA has released ‘before and after’ satellite photos of Bermuda and our surrounding waters, revealing how Hurricane Gonzalo stirred up the sediment from the ocean bottom.

The statement from NASA said, “NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites captured before and after images of Bermuda and surrounding waters before and after Hurricane Gonzalo struck the island on Oct. 17. The images revealed how Gonzalo stirred up the sediment from the ocean bottom.

NASA imagery before [Oct 4] & after [Oct 19] Gonzalo shows the sediment stirred up [green, blue].


“The MODIS instrument or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer that flies aboard NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites provided imagery of Bermuda and the stirred sediment. In a comparison of imagery before and after Hurricane Gonzalo passed, the after image showed sediment streaming east and south of Bermuda.

“The MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a “before” look of Bermuda on Oct. 4 at 17:20 UTC [1:20 p.m. EDT]. The MODIS instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured the “after” image from Oct. 19 at 15:00 UTC [11 a.m. EDT].

Sea fan found on a beach after Gonzalo:

sea fan on bermuda beach after gonzalo

“Whenever a hurricane moves over an area, it stirs up sediment from the ocean bottom. In more shallow areas the mixing of sediment to the surface is more visible on satellite imagery.

“Around Bermuda, the ocean is shallow. There are coral reefs and banks that can be seen under the surface when waters are clear. Bermuda’s coral reefs are some of the northern-most reefs in the North Atlantic.

“In the MODIS images a lighter blue area traces the outline of the shallow waters around the reef. The deeper water around it appears dark blue.

Dead fish found on a west end beach after Hurricane Gonzalo:

dead fish on bermuda beach after hurricane gonzalo

“Run off of sand dirt from the island fans out in tan and light green plumes. The extra nutrients that the run-off and bottom sediment bring to the surface may be feeding surface-dwelling ocean plants, which may also color ocean waters turquoise.”

For all our coverage of Hurricane Gonzalo click here, and for our live blog where we are bringing you continuous live coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo click here.

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Category: All, Environment, News

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  1. amazing says:

    Wow! So cool

  2. Umm.... says:

    Has this fixed our “grease ball” issue?

  3. curry mcflurry says:

    dont awaken the kraken!

  4. Ty says:

    Oh no…. Did Miss Puff get washed away from Bikini Bottom. Great pics though…. especially the piece of coral.

  5. yee haw says:

    Sediment? Yes, but not only that. More like BBQ grills, Bicycles, kayaks and lawnmowers blown into the ‘Gyre’ I believe. And all those bags of trash folks somehow thought would be picked up by some fairy-Godmother W&E service.

  6. unus sed leo says:

    divers delight,after storms all sorts of treasure is uncovered…snokellers too…it may be worth the cost of a warm dive suit…I hope that meteorologist was warned about his lack of responsibility to general populussssss…..that was piss poor warning and in my view contemtuous.