Satellite Chlorophyl Patterns

30 Minutes

André Valente

Satellite Chlorophyl Patterns

Published: 21 November 2011

Presentation about satellite images of phytoplankton chlorophyll in the North Atlantic. André Valente introduces how phytoplankton chlorophyll is measured from space, describing the spatial and temporal patterns observed in the satellite images and identify the physical processes responsible for the observed variability.

The most important light-absorbing substance in the oceans is chlorophyll, which phytoplankton use to produce carbon by photosynthesis. Due to this green pigment - chlorophyll - phytoplankton preferentially absorb the red and blue portions of the light spectrum (for photosynthesis) and reflect green light. So, the ocean over regions with high concentrations of phytoplankton will appear as certain shades, from blue-green to green, depending upon the type and density of the phytoplankton population there. The basic principle behind the remote sensing of ocean color from space is this: the more phytoplankton in the water, the greener it is....the less phytoplankton, the bluer it is.

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Filed under Keywords:

Ocean, Phytoplankton, Chlorophyll, Photosynthesis