Ocean Color and Ocean Biogeochemistry

Shubha Sathyendranath
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom

Ocean color remains our only window into the pelagic ecosystem at synoptic scales. It is a rich source of data, and chlorophyll concentration is the principal product, which provides valuable information on how the light from the sun (the energy source for the entire ecosystem) is coupled to the marine biota through the pigments contained in phytoplankton. The absorbed energy is used by phytoplankton to produce organic carbon (marine primary production). We can combine light at the sea surface (another product available routinely using satellite data), with chlorophyll concentration from ocean color, to estimate marine primary production at the global scale, using models of light penetration, and photosynthesis. The growing list of satellite products includes phytoplankton functional types and phytoplankton size distribution. It is important to recognize that these products are not raw data. We arrive at them by combining various models with the satellite data on spectral radiance at multiple wavelengths in the visible domain, detected at the level of the satellite. Often, these models are different from, and employ different assumptions from, what is done by ecosystem models.

In this project, we propose to develop or improve novel satellite-based products, including phytoplankton functional types, particulate organic carbon, photosynthesis-irradiance parameters and phytoplankton carbon. These products, along with more standard products such as chlorophyll concentration and marine primary production, will form part of the CBIOMES data atlas. They will be used for comparison with ecosystem model outputs, and in data assimilation.

CBIOMES Collaborators in the Plymouth Group

News from the Sathyendranath Group

CBIOMES Welcomes Gemma Kulk

by Helen Hill for CBIOMES A warm welcome to postdoc Gemma Kulk who joins Shubha Sathyendranath's PML CBIOMES Group this month. (more…)

CBIOMES Goes to Ocean Sciences 2020

Look out for members of the CBIOMES team, sharing their work at this year’s Ocean Sciences conference taking place February 16-21 in San Diego, California. (more…)

NEW CBIOMES PUBLICATION

T. J. Smyth, G. A. Tarran, and S. Sathyendranath (2019), Marine picoplankton size distribution and optical property contrasts throughout the Atlantic Ocean revealed using flow cytometry, Applied Optics, doi: 10.1364/AO.58.008802

Extracting More From Ocean Color Data

Reporting by Helen Hill for CBIOMES The PML-CBIOMES team led by Shubha Sathyendranath is actively engaged in developing new and improved products to extract increased detail from satellite color data....

Recent Research in the Sathyendranath Group

by Shubha Sathyendranath for CBIOMES Please note access to this page is restricted to CBIOMES associates only. (more…)

Trends in Mediterranean Phytoplankton Phenology from Ocean-Color

by Helen Hill for CBIOMES Changes in phytoplankton Chlorophyl (Chl) and phenology (study of the phases of the phytoplankton seasonal) are key to understanding many aspects of marine community structure...

by Helen Hill for CBIOMES A warm welcome to incoming researcher Dr Bror Jönsson, a new Senior Scientist in the PML CBIOMES Group. (more…)