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Use of satellite images of chlorophyll fluorescence to monitor the spring bloom in coastal waters

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This article demonstrates a successful application of fluorescence line height (FLH) images from the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagers and provides a strong argument for making more widespread use of FLH in monitoring surface phytoplankton in coastal waters. In the present example, MERIS and MODIS FLH images show the start of the spring bloom in coastal waters of the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia, Canada. The images clearly show a recurring pattern in five of the eight years from 2003 to 2010 covered by MERIS, which suggests seeding of the early spring bloom from narrow coastal inlets. Such seeding has been suggested before, but never observed. FLH images show the blooms more clearly than images of surface chlorophyll based on the ratios of water-leaving radiances in the blue and green spectral range (440–560 nm). FLH images used here have been derived with no atmospheric correction. Alternative products based on the blue/green ratio require atmospheric correction, which is difficult in coastal areas. Such products also tend to be more significantly confused with other constituents of coastal waters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney,British Columbia, CanadaV8L 4B2,

Publication date: 2012-12-10

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