Remote sensing, ocean biogeochemistry, and marine primary productivity

Surface Chlorophyll (May 1999)

Surface Chlorophyll from the SeaWiFS satellite sensor for May 1999. Higher chlorophyll concentrations are seen in coastal upwelling and shelf regions, near islands, and in the high-latitude North Atlantic. Low chlorophyll concentrations are found in the mid-ocean gyres.

Photo Credit: Sea WiFS

Observational datasets relevant for studying marine phytoplankton productivity and biogeochemical cycling in the oceans have expanded greatly in the past decade. New global syntheses of ship-based observations at the global scale provide information on nutrient distributions, carbon chemistry, and phytoplankton community structure. Simultaneously the number of satellite remote sensing observations has also greatly expanded with improved accuracy. Remote sensing observations provide estimates of surface chlorophyll concentrations (phytoplankton biomass), phytoplankton carbon concentrations, and primary production. Satellites also provide a number of observations of physical oceanographic variables such as sea surface temperature, surface salinity, and wind speed and direction over the oceans. In this project the student will analyze some of these datasets to study the controls on primary production, phytoplankton community composition, and the biogeochemical cycling of key elements (i.e. carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus). A better understanding of these factors will allow us to better predict how the oceans will respond to the ongoing climate change.

Project time allocations: Computer lab = 100%

Project Information
Date(s): 
June 20, 2011 - August 19, 2011
Student's Name: 
Ware, Matthew
Project Personnel: 
Associated ESS Person: 
Moore, Keith
Associated ESS Person's Photo: 
ESS Information
ESS Research Area: 
Biogeochemical Cycles