Home > Explore Data & Reports > Predicting euphotic-depth-integrated chlorophyll-a from discrete depth and satellite-observable chlorophyll-a off central California


Frolov, S., J. Ryan, and F.P. Chavez. 2012. Predicting euphotic-depth-integrated chlorophyll-a from discrete depth and satellite-observable chlorophyll-a off central California. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117:C05042. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011JC007322

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Predicting water column integrated phytoplankton biomass from near-surface measurements has been an important effort in marine ecological research, particularly since the advent of satellite remote sensing of ocean color. Quantitative relationships between chlorophyll-aconcentrations (Chl-a) at the surface and its depth-integrated magnitude have thus far only been developed for open-ocean waters. Here we develop and test for the first time an extension of open-ocean relationships into ocean-margin waters, specifically the highly productive and variable eastern boundary upwelling ecosystem off the central California coast. This region was chosen because of the unique availability of a 30-year record of ship-based Chl-aprofiles measured using consistent methods. The extended relationship allows accurate prediction of integrated biomass from surface measurements. Further, we develop a new set of relationships for predicting the depth-integrated Chl-afrom Chl-ameasured over a range of discrete depths (i.e., as measured by fluorometers on moorings). The newly developed relationships are tested against 15,000 fluorometric Chl-aprofiles obtained from an autonomous underwater vehicle. Surprisingly, the relationship between surface Chl-aand depth-integrated Chl-aholds for profiles with high concentrations of Chl-a in persistent subsurface thin phytoplankton layers (layers <3 m thick and located below the first optical depth). The results have implications for monitoring of algal blooms and for quantifying ocean primary productivity from satellite observations of ocean color.

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