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ocean color

a change in the color of the ocean surface as a result of sediment, organic matter, or phytoplankton, all of which can change how the ocean surface reflects and absorbs sunlight. In a natural-color (photo-like) image from space, the clear waters of the open ocean look dark blue. Chlorophyll and other pigments in phytoplankton can color the water bright blue, green, and even reddish-brownish. Sediment can turn the water milky blue. Organic matter can turn the water tea-colored. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)