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Satellite monitoring of phytoplankton in the East Mediterranean Sea after the 2006 Lebanon oil spill

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Multi-source remote-sensing data were used to study the aftermath of the 2006 Lebanon oil spill: Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 250┬ám data and advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images were used to delineate the extent of the oil spill; QuikScat data were used to derive the wind field; and MODIS Ocean Colour data were used to demonstrate the variability of chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl-a) and sea surface temperature (SST). No significant changes were found in marine phytoplankton in the first few months after the oil spill. However, a big phytoplankton bloom was observed after 10 months, when Chl-a increased from 0.1 to 1.0 mg m–3. After considering the time-series variability of Chl-a and SST and the spatial variability of Chl-a and bathymetry, we concluded that this phytoplankton bloom was probably related to the Lebanon oil spill.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Research Centre of Remote Sensing on Marine Ecology and Environment (RSMEE) and State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography (LTO),South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou,510301, China 2: Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, ShatinHong Kong, China

Publication date: December 10, 2012

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