Spyrakos E, González Vilas L, Torres Palenzuela JM & Barton ED (2011) Remote sensing chlorophyll a of optically complex waters (rias Baixas, NW Spain): Application of a regionally specific chlorophyll a algorithm for MERIS full resolution data during an upwelling cycle. Remote Sensing of Environment, 115 (10), pp. 2471-2485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2011.05.008
This study takes advantage of a regionally specific algorithm and the characteristics of Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) in order to deliver more accurate, detailed chlorophyll a (chla) maps of optically complex coastal waters during an upwelling cycle. MERIS full resolution chla concentrations and in situ data were obtained on the Galician (NW Spain) shelf and in three adjacent rias (embayments), sites of extensive mussel culture that experience frequent harmful algal events. Regionally focused algorithms (Regional neural network for rias Baixas or NNRB) for the retrieval of chla in the Galician rias optically complex waters were tested in comparison to sea-truth data. The one that showed the best performance was applied to a series of six MERIS (FR) images during a summer upwelling cycle to test its performance. The best performance parameters were given for the NN trained with high-quality data using the most abundant cluster found in the rias after the application of fuzzy c-mean clustering techniques (FCM). July 2008 was characterized by three periods of different meteorological and oceanographic states. The main changes in chla concentration and distribution were clearly captured in the images. After a period of strong upwelling favorable winds a high biomass algal event was recorded in the study area. However, MERIS missed the high chlorophyll upwelled water that was detected below surface in the ria de Vigo by the chla profiles, proving the necessity of in situ observations. Relatively high biomass “patches” were mapped in detail inside the rias. There was a significant variation in the timing and the extent of the maximum chla areas. The maps confirmed that the complex spatial structure of the phytoplankton distribution in the rias Baixas is affected by the surface currents and winds on the adjacent continental shelf. This study showed that a regionally specific algorithm for an ocean color sensor with the characteristics of MERIS in combination with in situ data can be of great help in chla monitoring, detection and study of high biomass algal events in an area affected by coastal upwelling such as the rias Baixas.
Chlorophyll a; MERIS; Algorithms; Upwelling; Galician rias
Remote Sensing of Environment: Volume 115, Issue 10