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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 16 — Jul. 30, 2012
  • pp: 17632–17652

Particle backscattering as a function of chlorophyll and phytoplankton size structure in the open-ocean

Robert J.W. Brewin, Giorgio Dall’Olmo, Shubha Sathyendranath, and Nick J. Hardman-Mountford  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 16, pp. 17632-17652 (2012)

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Using an extensive database of in situ observations we present a model that estimates the particle backscattering coefficient as a function of the total chlorophyll concentration in the open-ocean (Case-1 waters). The parameters of the model include a constant background component and the chlorophyll-specific backscattering coefficients associated with small (<20μm) and large (>20μm) phytoplankton. The new model performed with similar accuracy when compared with a traditional power-law function, with the additional benefit of providing information on the role of phytoplankton size. The observed spectral-dependency (γ) of model parameters was consistent with past observations, such that γ associated with the small phytoplankton population was higher than that of large phytoplankton. Furthermore, γ associated with the constant background component suggests this component is likely attributed to submicron particles. We envisage that the model would be useful for improving Case-1 ocean-colour models, assimilating light into multi-phytoplankton ecosystem models and improving estimates of phytoplankton size structure from remote sensing.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(010.4450) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Oceanic optics
(010.1350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Backscattering
(010.1690) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Color

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: April 26, 2012
Revised Manuscript: June 28, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: June 30, 2012
Published: July 19, 2012

Virtual Issues
Vol. 7, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Robert J.W. Brewin, Giorgio Dall’Olmo, Shubha Sathyendranath, and Nick J. Hardman-Mountford, "Particle backscattering as a function of chlorophyll and phytoplankton size structure in the open-ocean," Opt. Express 20, 17632-17652 (2012)

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