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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Humbled by a bubble -- Part 2

A few years ago, I wrote about some colorful bubbles in the intertidal zone (see post on 19 April 2012).  I had wondered if they might appear under certain conditions.  I'm starting to think that the best chance of seeing them is during spring upwelling, when there are high nutrient levels in the water.

I encountered something similar on 24 March 2015 in a mussel bed:

There was an amazing diversity of colors in the bubbles among the foam.

And as before, I was fascinated by the rapid color changes and motion in some of the bubbles:

You can follow the movement of an "eddy" in a green bubble in the next two pictures.  (The images were taken ~1 second apart.)

And watch how the large bubble at the bottom of the next picture changes over ~14 seconds.

A wave came and washed this foam away...otherwise I could have watched these bubbles for a long time!


John W. Wall said...

I was seeing colorful sea foam on Limantour Beach in early February, fwiw.

Jackie Sones said...

Thanks, John! I know there were some "upwelling winds" in late February, but I don't remember them in early February this year. I don't know if there's a pattern to when colors are most prevalent in bubbles along the shore, but I'll be trying to keep better track. I appreciate the report. Did you take pictures?