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26. Capricorn Channel, Algal Bloom
This frame from STS-9 was taken over the Capricorn Channel near the Swain Reef off the coast of Queensland at 2138 GMT on November 29, 1983. It illustrates a different sort of bloom, streamlined by wind and sea currents, from those depicted in slides #24 and #25. This bloom is created by a particular type of algae, zooxanthelae, which is symbiotic with the local coral heads. It is this algae that gives the bloom its rather greenish-yellow color. The algae are regularly washed off the coral and are then driven by the longshore currents into the weblike concentrations shown here.
STS-9, November-December 1983. Picture #9-35-1622