Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Abstract

Each year since the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) was launched on the Nimbus 7 satellite in November 1978, extensive patches of water giving strong reflectance of visible light have been observed during the early summer along the outer margin of the north-west European continental shelf between 45 and 60 degrees N Various hypotheses including coccolithophores, phytoplankton with external calcified plates or coccoliths, were suggested to explain a comparable feature on Landsat images for July 1977. To test these, we report here observations made from French and UK research vessels in 1982, using unprocessed CZCS images supplied by the University of Dundee and Centre de Meteorologie Spatiale in Lannion to locate suitable sampling areas immediately before and during the cruise, and atmospherically corrected data from the European Space Agency for subsequent analysis and calibration of the reflectance signals. The high reflectance was found to be caused by a surface bloom of the widespread coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi< (Lohm.) Hay et Mohler, which also produced abundant detached coccoliths. This finding is of relevance to recent work both on the ecology of coccolithophores, including their importance in the sedimentation of biogenic carbon and lipids and in palaeoclimatic studies, and on the development of reliable remote sensing techniques for the estimation of chlorophyll in oceanic waters.

Additional information

Authors: HOLLIGAN P M, MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);HARBOUR D S, MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);VIOLLIER M, MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);CAMUS P, MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);CHAMPAGNE PHILIPPE M MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK), MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY), MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES, MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE);ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE), MARINE BIOL. ASSOC., PLYMOUTH (UK);JRC ISPRA ESTAB. (ITALY);INST. SCI. ET TECH. DES PECHES MARITIMES, NANTES;ETAB. D'ETUDES ET DE RECHERCHES METEOROLOGIQUES, CMS, LANNION (FRANCE)
Bibliographic Reference: NATURE, VOL. 304 (1983), NO. 5924, PP. 339-342
Record Number: 1989123002400 / Last updated on: 1987-01-01
Category: PUBLICATION
Available languages: en