A ‘whitish mass’ of water measuring 15 square kilometres has appeared in the Mar Menor lagoon according to satellite images analysed by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC).

The mass extends between Los Alcazares, Los Urrutias and Perdiguera Island with the IEO-CSIC saying that the area is registering chlorophyll concentration values ‘up to four times higher than in other parts of the lagoon’.

IEO-CSIC researcher, Juan Manuel Ruiz, said: “The presence of phytoplanktonic proliferations is common, but not with colouring.”

Phytoplanktons are a key part of freshwater and sea ecosystems creating organic compounds from carbon dioxide dissolved in the water.

Satellite photos have shown the mass in the Mar Menor has been present for around two months.

The IEO-CSIC report says that the concentrations of phytoplanktons are lower than previous measurements especially in past instances when some of the water appeared to be murky or ‘green soup’ in colour.

At the moment the scientists are still trying to work out the cause of the white colouration.


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