Ocean Foam at Chennai Beach

Ocean foam is a phenomenon in which the seawater forms foams due to the presence of detergents or foaming agents when combined with windy conditions. White ocean foams were reported at Chennai’s Pattinampakkam beach in December. This is the period during which the region received rains from the retreating monsoon or the north- east monsoon. Ocean foam is known to be aggravated during monsoon conditions. The foaming can occur due to natural and anthropogenic reasons. Increase in organic content can lead to foaming. Organic compounds derived from off- shore degradation of algal bloom is one such causative. Pollutants like industrial detergents can also cause foaming. They are washed down to the sea by the rivers and canals and get whipped up by the windy condition. High levels of phosphate was also reported in the water samples. These foams can cause health issues like skin irritations and digestive ailments.