Optical remote sensing techniques have previously demonstrated their ability to provide quantitative information on open sea water parameters such as suspended matter and pigment concentrations, which are an essential basis for research and management of the marine environment. However the operational use of coasta/shelf water remote sensing is compromised by the spatial variability and complexity of atmospheric and marine optical properties caused by the changing compositions of atmospheric aerosol, marine phytoplankton populations and suspended matter. At present only very limited information is available on this variability in coasta/shelf water. Thus a research program is required to establish a data base and from this derive methods to exploit coastaVshelf colour remote sensing data. Since each European marine area impacts upon more than one country, such a program should be established in a multinational framework.
COLORS will cover three main activities over a three year period:
1. Extensive measurements over three selected sites, located in different coastaUshelf areas (Adriatic Sea, English Channel, North Sea) representative of the main European water types. All test sites will be equipped with identical instrument packages and special attention will be paid to calibration/intercalibration to ensure high quality measurements and complete compatibility of the data sets from the different sites.
2. Analysis, interpretation and processing of the acquired data aimed at deriving bio-geo-physical marine and atmospheric parameters. These will be used to develop robust marine and atmospheric algorithms, accounting for site and season specific influences, for colour remote sensing data interpretation.
3. Application of the ensuring algorithms and techniques on available satellite and aircraft data. The resulting data products will be validated in order to assess the full potential of operational optical remote sensing in European coastal waters.
COLORS aims at bringing together several of the key European research centres in the analysis and interpretation of coasta/shelf water remotely sensed data. By paying particular attention to establishing a systematic and co-ordinated methodology over three important European sites, this program forms an essential cornerstone for any future operational utilization of air- and space-borne colour data in both research and management activities in European coastal/shelf regions.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
PL1 3DH Plymouth
1790 AB Den Burg
SO14 3ZH Southampton