Hongyan Xi, Martin Hieronymi, Hajo Krasemann and Rüdiger Röttgers (2017): Phytoplankton Group Identification Using Simulated and In situ Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Reflectance. Front. Mar. Sci. 4:272, doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00272


In the present study we investigate the bio-geo-optical boundaries for the possibility to identify dominant phytoplankton groups from hyperspectral ocean color data. A large dataset of simulated remote sensing reflectance spectra, Rrs(λ), was used. The simulation was based on measured inherent optical properties of natural water and measurements of five phytoplankton light absorption spectra representing five major phytoplankton spectral groups. These simulated data, named as C2X data, contain more than 105 different water cases, including cases typical for clearest natural waters as well as for extreme absorbing and extreme scattering waters. For the simulation the used concentrations of chlorophyll a (representing phytoplankton abundance), Chl, are ranging from 0 to 200 mg m−3, concentrations of non-algal particles, NAP, from 0 to 1,500 g m−3, and absorption coefficients of chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) at 440 nm from 0 to 20 m−1. A second, independent, smaller dataset of simulated Rrs(λ) used light absorption spectra of 128 cultures from six phytoplankton taxonomic groups to represent natural variability. Spectra of this test dataset are compared with spectra from the C2X data in order to evaluate to which extent the five spectral groups can be correctly identified as dominant under different optical conditions. The results showed that the identification accuracy is highly subject to the water optical conditions, i.e., contribution of and covariance in Chl, NAP, and CDOM. The identification in the simulated data is generally effective, except for waters with very low contribution by phytoplankton and for waters dominated by NAP, whereas contribution by CDOM plays only a minor role. To verify the applicability of the presented approach for natural waters, a test using in situ Rrs(λ) dataset collected during a cyanobacterial bloom in Lake Taihu (China) is carried out and the approach predicts blue cyanobacteria to be dominant. This fits well with observation of the blue cyanobacteria Microcystis sp. in the lake. This study provides an efficient approach, which can be promisingly applied to hyperspectral sensors, for identifying dominant phytoplankton spectral groups purely based on Rrs(λ) spectra.


Evers-King, V. Martinez-Vicente, R. J. W. Brewin, G. Dall’Olmo, A. E. Hickman, T. Jackson, T. S. Kostadinov, H. Krasemann, H. Loisel, R. Röttgers, S. Roy, D. Stramski, S. Thomalls, T. Platt, and S. Sathyendranath (2017): Validation and Intercomparison of Ocean Color Algorithms for Estimating Particulate Organic Carbon in the Oceans. Front. Mar. Sci. 4(August), 1–20, doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00251


Particulate Organic Carbon (POC) plays a vital role in the ocean carbon cycle. Though relatively small compared with other carbon pools, the POC pool is responsible for large fluxes and is linked to many important ocean biogeochemical processes. The satellite ocean-color signal is influenced by particle composition, size, and concentration and provides a way to observe variability in the POC pool at a range of temporal and spatial scales. To provide accurate estimates of POC concentration from satellite ocean color data requires algorithms that are well validated, with uncertainties characterized. Here, a number of algorithms to derive POC using different optical variables are applied to merged satellite ocean color data provided by the Ocean Color Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI) and validated against the largest database of in situ POC measurements currently available. The results of this validation exercise indicate satisfactory levels of performance from several algorithms (highest performance was observed from the algorithms of Loisel et al., 2002; Stramski et al., 2008) and uncertainties that are within the requirements of the user community. Estimates of the standing stock of the POC can be made by applying these algorithms, and yield an estimated mixed-layer integrated global stock of POC between 0.77 and 1.3 Pg C of carbon. Performance of the algorithms vary regionally, suggesting that blending of region-specific algorithms may provide the best way forward for generating global POC products.

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