Hieronymi M., Müller D. and Doerffer R. (2017): The OLCI Neural Network Swarm (ONNS): A Bio-geo-optical Algorithm for Open Ocean and Coastal Waters. Front. Mar. Sci. 4:140. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00140


The processing scheme of a novel in-water algorithm for the retrieval of ocean color products from Sentinel-3 OLCI is introduced. The algorithm consists of several blended neural networks that are specialized for 13 different optical water classes. These comprise clearest natural waters but also waters reaching the frontiers of marine optical remote sensing, namely extreme absorbing, or scattering waters. Considered chlorophyll concentrations reach up to 200 mg m−3, non-algae particle concentrations up to 1,500 g m−3, and the absorption coefficient of colored dissolved organic matter at 440 nm is up to 20 m−1. The algorithm generates different concentrations of water constituents, inherent and apparent optical properties, and a color index. In addition, all products are delivered with an uncertainty estimate. A baseline validation of the products is provided for various water types. We conclude that the algorithm is suitable for the remote sensing estimation of water properties and constituents of most natural waters.


Bracher A., Bouman H., Brewin R.J., Bricaud A., Brotas V., Ciotti A.M., Clementson L., Devred E., Di Cicco A., Dutkiewicz S., Hardman-Mountford N., Hickman A.E., Hieronymi M., Hirata T., Losa S.N., Mouw C., Organelli E., Raitsos D.E., Uitz J., Vogt M., and Wolanin A. (2017): Obtaining Phytoplankton Diversity from Ocean Color: A Scientific Roadmap for Future Development. Front. Mar. Sci. 4(55), doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00055


To improve our understanding of the role of phytoplankton for marine ecosystems and global biogeochemical cycles, information on the global distribution of major phytoplankton groups is essential. Although algorithms have been developed to assess phytoplankton diversity from space for over two decades, so far the application of these data sets has been limited. This scientific roadmap identifies user needs, summarizes the current state of the art, and pinpoints major gaps in long-term objectives to deliver space-derived phytoplankton diversity data that meets the user requirements. These major gaps in using ocean color to estimate phytoplankton community structure were identified as: (a) the mismatch between satellite, in situ and model data on phytoplankton composition, (b) the lack of quantitative uncertainty estimates provided with satellite data, (c) the spectral limitation of current sensors to enable the full exploitation of backscattered sunlight, and (d) the very limited applicability of satellite algorithms determining phytoplankton composition for regional, especially coastal or inland, waters. Recommendation for actions include but are not limited to: (i) an increased communication and round-robin exercises among and within the related expert groups, (ii) the launching of higher spectrally and spatially resolved sensors, (iii) the development of algorithms that exploit hyperspectral information, and of (iv) techniques to merge and synergistically use the various streams of continuous information on phytoplankton diversity from various satellite sensors‘ and in situ data to ensure long-term monitoring of phytoplankton composition.


Karimova, S. (2017): Observations of asymmetric turbulent stirring in inner and marginal seas using satellite imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38:6, 1642-1664, doi: 10.1080/01431161.2017.1285078


For the open ocean, it was already reported on the cyclonic (anticyclonic) asymmetry of appearance of eddies of a certain spatial scale. In this article, we scrutinize the ratios of mostly mesoscale cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies in a number of inner and marginal marine basins, namely in the Baltic, Black, North, and Western Mediterranean Seas. As research material, over 9700 eddy manifestations in the thermal infrared, visible-range, and radar satellite imagery were used. The analysis performed showed that in all the seas the typical and average values of the diameter of anticyclonic eddies were greater than those of cyclonic eddies. The main factor that defines the ratio between anticyclonic and cyclonic eddies in the basins under consideration was discovered to be the intensity of their surface currents. Thus, in the presence of a strong jet flow at the scales of about 2–4 baroclinic Rossby radii, the cyclonic eddy dominance typical for smaller eddies was replaced by the anticyclonic one. If strong jet streams were missing, as that typical of the Baltic Sea, cyclonic eddies were prevailing over the entire spectrum of eddy diameters.


Ramírez-Pérez M, Gonçalves-Araujo R, Wiegmann S, Torrecilla E, Bardaji R, Röttgers R, et al. (2017): Towards Cost-Effective Operational Monitoring Systems for Complex Waters: Analyzing Small-Scale Coastal Processes with Optical Transmissometry. PLOS ONE 12(1): e0170706, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170706


The detection and prediction of changes in coastal ecosystems require a better understanding of the complex physical, chemical and biological interactions, which involves that observations should be performed continuously. For this reason, there is an increasing demand for small, simple and cost-effective in situ sensors to analyze complex coastal waters at a broad range of scales. In this context, this study seeks to explore the potential of beam attenuation spectra, c(λ), measured in situ with an advanced-technology optical transmissometer, for assessing temporal and spatial patterns in the complex estuarine waters of Alfacs Bay (NW Mediterranean) as a test site. In particular, the information contained in the spectral beam attenuation coefficient was assessed and linked with different biogeochemical variables. The attenuation at λ = 710 nm was used as a proxy for particle concentration, TSM, whereas a novel parameter was adopted as an optical indicator for chlorophyll a (Chl-a) concentration, based on the local maximum of c(λ) observed at the long-wavelength side of the red band Chl-a absorption peak. In addition, since coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) has an important influence on the beam attenuation spectral shape and complementary measurements of particle size distribution were available, the beam attenuation spectral slope was used to analyze the CDOM content. Results were successfully compared with optical and biogeochemical variables from laboratory analysis of collocated water samples, and statistically significant correlations were found between the attenuation proxies and the biogeochemical variables TSM, Chl-a and CDOM. This outcome depicted the potential of high-frequency beam attenuation measurements as a simple, continuous and cost-effective approach for rapid detection of changes and patterns in biogeochemical properties in complex coastal environments.


Sinikka T. Lennartz, Christa A. Marandino, Marc von Hobe, Pau Cortes, Birgit Quack, Rafel Simo, Dennis Booge, Andrea Pozzer, Tobias Steinhoff, Damian L. Arevalo-Martinez, Corinna Kloss, Astrid Bracher, Rüdiger Röttgers, Elliot Atlas and Kirstin Krüger (2017): Direct oceanic emissions unlikely to account for the missing source of atmospheric carbonyl sulfide. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 385-402, doi:10.5194/acp-17-385-2017


The climate active trace-gas carbonyl sulfide (OCS) is the most abundant sulfur gas in the atmosphere. A missing source in its atmospheric budget is currently suggested, resulting from an upward revision of the vegetation sink. Tropical oceanic emissions have been proposed to close the resulting gap in the atmospheric budget. We present a bottom-up approach including (i) new observations of OCS in surface waters of the tropical Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and (ii) a further improved global box model to show that direct OCS emissions are unlikely to account for the missing source. The box model suggests an undersaturation of the surface water with respect to OCS integrated over the entire tropical ocean area and, further, global annual direct emissions of OCS well below that suggested by top-down estimates. In addition, we discuss the potential of indirect emission from CS2 and dimethylsulfide (DMS) to account for the gap in the atmospheric budget. This bottom-up estimate of oceanic emissions has implications for using OCS as a proxy for global terrestrial CO2 uptake, which is currently impeded by the inadequate quantification of atmospheric OCS sources and sinks.

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