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Absorption characteristics of ocean water in the Arabian Sea during winter bloom from in situ measurements and Oceansat 2 OCM and MODIS data

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In the northern Arabian Sea, blooms usually occur during the northeast monsoon (November–January) and inter-monsoon (February–April) periods. After death, these phytoplankton blooms produce massive subsurface zones of low dissolved oxygen levels that have a major impact on the ocean water ecosystem. Many studies have been done to identify the bloom in this region, but those on the optical properties of bloom water are scarce. The present study emphasizes the optical properties (inherent) of the bloom water in the study region using in situ and satellite data. The total absorption coefficient of ocean water was measured from in situ radiance data collected in the northern Arabian Sea from the Sagar Sampada cruise (SS-286) during March 2011. The same data were also derived from the top-of-atmosphere radiance and remote sensing reflectance of the Oceansat 2 Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM-2) and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors, respectively. A comparison between measured (in situ) and retrieved total absorption coefficients from OCM-2 was made. The measured and retrieved absorption coefficients are in good agreement. Root mean square errors between measured and retrieved absorption coefficients are 0.018 m−1, 0.026 m−1, and 0.034 m−1 for 490 nm, 510 nm, and 555 nm, respectively. An inter-comparison of total absorption properties retrieved from OCM-2 and MODIS data in the region of one degree radius around the stations was also made. A fairly good match was observed on 10, 14, and 16 March 2011 (coefficient of determination, R 2 = 0.75, 0.87, and 0.62, respectively) for the blue band (490 nm) and (R 2 = 0.77, 0.79, and 0.71, respectively) the green band (555 nm). The study demonstrates the potential of using remote-sensing optical data for identifying bloom waters.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Space Applications Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad, 380015, India

Publication date: May 3, 2014

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