Bontempi, P. S. Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, bontempi@gsosun1.gso.uri.edu
Yoder, J. S. Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, yoder@emu.gso.uri.edu

 
PERMANENT AND TRANSIENT SPATIAL PATTERNS IN CHLOROPHYLL A AS REMOTELY SENSED BY CZCS, OCTS, AND SEAWIFS
 
Chlorophyll a is the main photosynthetic pigment contained in autotrophic algae known as phytoplankton. Phytoplankton play a key role as the primary trophic level in the oceanic food web. Remotely-sensed springtime chlorophyll a distributions were preliminarily examined in waters off of the U.S. southeast coast (SEC). Spatial patterns of chl a were observed at a 1 km resolution from April, May, and June 1979-1981 for CZCS, in 1997 for OCTS, and in 1998 for SeaWiFS. Mesoscale spatial patterns in chl a for all years showed decreasing concentrations from near shore to offshore waters. Shelf waters typically supported higher chl a concentrations (0.3-3 micrograms per liter) than oceanic regions (<0.3 micrograms per liter) for the study periods. OCTS imagery indicated SEC shelf waters had slightly higher concentrations of chlorophyll in 1997 than the other study years, but this may be a result of overestimation by the current chlorophyll algorithm. All years examined showed chl a concentrations to decrease in magnitude from April through June, possibly indicating an interannual springtime trend. Differences in April, May, and June monthly composites within each individual data set and between individual months of the different years will be examined to resolve any interannual spatial patterns in monthly mean images.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: 08:45 - 09:00am
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS43TU0845S