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Proceedings Paper

Estimating solar radiation absorbed by live phytoplankton from satellite ocean-color data
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Paper Abstract

Primary production, PP, or the quantity of organic matter synthesized by phytoplankton per unit of surface and time, depends on the photo-synthetically available radiation absorbed by live phytoplankton, APAR. Computing APAR requires knowledge of the absorption coefficient of live phytoplankton and the total absorption coefficient, quantities that are difficult to retrieve accurately from satellite ocean-color data. In the proposed approach, APAR is estimated directly from a linear combination of marine reflectance in the PAR spectral range. Feasibility is demonstrated theoretically from simulations using a marine reflectance model, and experimentally using data collected at 19 biooptical stations during the February-March 2011 R/V Melville oceanographic cruise in the Southern Atlantic and Southeastern Pacific. Improvements in APAR accuracy are quantified in comparisons with estimates obtained from absorption coefficients or chlorophyll concentration determined from marine reflectance via standard satellite algorithms. The linear combination of marine reflectance is fairly robust to atmospheric correction errors. Due to the linear nature of the algorithm, their impact may be further reduced when using space- or time-averaged reflectance. The methodology is applied to actual MODIS imagery over the Southern Atlantic, and variability in the resulting APAR field is analyzed. The study suggests that determining APAR directly from marine reflectance has the potential to improve PP estimates from space.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9261, Ocean Remote Sensing and Monitoring from Space, 926106 (21 November 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2074004
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Frouin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. of California San Diego (United States)
Natalia M. Ruddorff, Instituto National de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil)
Milton Kampel, Instituto National de Pesquisas Espaciais (Brazil)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9261:
Ocean Remote Sensing and Monitoring from Space
Robert J. Frouin; Delu Pan; Hiroshi Murakami, Editor(s)

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