Led by the USF College of Marine Science, scientists used NASA satellite observations to find the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt (GASB), the largest bloom of macroalgae in the world.
Based on numerical simulations, scientists confirm that the Sargassum, the belt of the brown macroalgae, forms its shape in accordance with ocean currents.
It can grow so large that it blankets the surface of the tropical Atlantic Ocean from the west coast of Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. This happened last year when more than 20 million tons of it - heavier than 200 fully loaded aircraft carriers - floated in surface waters and some of which wreaked havoc on shorelines lining the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and east coast of Florida.
More details of this discovery over at EurekAlert.
(Image Credit: Brian Lapointe, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute)