The group studied satellite images from the last 19 years. Sargassum is a genus of large brown seaweed (a type of algae) that floats in island-like masses and never attaches to the seafloor. The SEAS Program leverages Landsat Satellite Imagery in order to identify floating Sargassum mats, and then factors in local wind/surface currents in order to provide a forecast. Sargassum washing ashore on the beaches of the Caribbean Islands since 2011 has caused problems for the local environments, tourism, and economies. Image courtesy of the Life on the Edge Exploration. The news: There have been ever-increasing amounts of the seaweed … Satellite images suggest a new Sargassum source region in 2011. In a paper published on July 5, 2019, in Science, researchers described new observations of the “Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt.”. Smaller fishes, such as filefishes and triggerfishes, reside in and among brown Sargassum. In early July 2019, Sentinel-3 captured images showing blooms of Sargassum seaweed. IMAGE: Scientists used NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra and Aqua satellites to discover the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt (GASB), which started in 2011. Find out more about the spread of this seaweed throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and how it might affect your cruising choices. The Sargassum Watch System (SaWS) is designed to use satellite data and numerical models to detect and track pelagic Sargassum in near-real time. Removing the seaweed … The purpose of this forecasting system is to predict extremely large windrows, rather than patches or debris of seaweed. The chlorophyll pigment in sargassum is so strong, they were able to identify and measure its presence. image caption Sargassum on Delray Beach in South Florida in May 2019 The researchers used a 19-year record of satellite data to study the Sargassum, … A vast, 8,850 -kilometer-wide, 20-million-ton cluster of Sargassum algae spanned the Atlantic in July 2018. Researchers analysing satellite images of the bloom ... told a local newspaper that tourist numbers in the region had fallen by up to 35% due to sargassum. To satellites that detect infrared, sargassum blazes like a bonfire. Although preliminary results of Sargassum distributions in the nearby oceans have been obtained using measurements from the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS), MERIS stopped functioning in 2012, and detecting and quantifying Sargassum … Scientists using NASA satellite observations have discovered the largest bloom of macroalgae in the world.