The overall objective of this proposal is to identify patterns in phytoplankton succession through measurements of ocean colour. Thus the role of transients in the physical environment, caused by the seasonal solar heating cycle and other dynamic processes, in modifying phytoplankton community structure (succession) will be investigated in two contrasting shelf seas.
Initially field measurements will be carried out to relate physical processes to phytoplankton succession. This will include the deployment of new optical technology in conjunction with standard optical instrumentation to yield high spectral resolution data on the apparent and inherent optical properties of the water column. In addition we will relate in situ ocean colour data to that measured remotely by satellite and airborne based sensors.
Predictive models will be developed which will allow the interpretation of remotely sensed ocean colour information. Validated models will be used in an inversion procedure to recover the water constituent (phytoplankton pigment) concentrations from the reflectance or remotely sensed water leaving radiance. The measurements made in the field experiments will then be used to validate the success of the inversion process.
At the end of the project, a light model will have been developed which will facilitate the interpretation of ocean colour data and allow a greater detail in monitoring of phytoplankton behaviour than has been possible to date. Ultimately this will allow an enhanced understanding of the interaction between physical processes and phytoplankton ecology within the oceans, and will have particular relevance to European coastal and shelf seas through the facility of monitoring potentially harmful algal blooms.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts