Surreal sight as Aberdeen harbour engulfed by foam - picture
AT first glance it looks like a generous dump of snow but the white layer which smothered the seafront of the Footdee area of Aberdeen is in fact foam from the North Sea.
Heavy gales which battered the shore on Tuesday morning led to the water being whipped up into an extraordinary foam lather as air piled into the water” and mixed up with organic material.
“The sea is acting like a washing machine,” said Prof Christopher Todd, marine ecologist at the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews.
He said: “It is likely there are phytoplankton cells and they produce a lot of mucus which when whipped up can form this foam.”
Most phytoplankton are too small to be seen but they can form an algal bloom in the spring and, to a lesser extent, in the autumn.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West