ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2017, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 159-174

Shortwave minimums of reflectance of water surface as a remote indication of blooms of Nodularia spumigena in the southern Caspian Sea

G.S. Karabashev 1 , M.A. Evdoshenko 1 
1 P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology RAS, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 12.12.2016
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2017-14-1-159-174
The capabilities of remote indication of algal blooms by means of the deficit of water-leaving radiance have been refined on the example of cyanobacterial blooms of 2005 and 2010 in the Caspian Sea. The deficit is due to the shortwave maximums of light absorption by chlorophyll a and accessory pigments. The chlorophyll index D1 = Rrs(443)–Rrs(412) and accessory pigments index D2 = Rrs(488)–Rrs(469) were used to quantify the deficit in terms of Rrs as water surface reflectance estimated from the MODIS data at wavelengths 412, 443, 469, and 488 nm. These blooms are the most conforming to the goals of our study because they developed against background of a mesoscale vortex in the aquatic area unaffected by sources of foreign optically significant admixtures. We retrieved the concentration of chlorophyll a as chlLOO from the MODIS imagery with the help of a regional algorithm (Kopelevich et al., 2013) and established that index D1, found from the same images, is inversely proportional to chlorophyll when the latter varies from 0.5 to 5–6 mg m-3. The time series of occurrence of D1<0 and D2<0 within the same bloom area for the periods from January 2004 and 2009 to December 2005 and 2010 revealed the absence of negative indices from spring to early summer. They were abundant in the area from August to October. The growth of population of D2<0 therewith increased in number of pixels having D1<0. We observed similar succession during the Baltic Sea bloom of cyanobacteria in 2005. We compared the distributions of reflectance Rrs(555) and concentrations of chlorophyll a chl_a from standard MODIS algorithm, chlLOO, and chlD1, found from the linear dependence D1(chlLOO) respectively. In contrast to the former three quantities, the distribution of CHLD1 proved to be insensitive to the coastal maximum of turbidity. In total, our findings prompt to develop a spectral-difference algorithm for retrieval of chlorophyll from the data of ocean color scanners during algal blooms because the difference signal is less dependent on factors, irrelevant to algal pigments, as compared to the band-ratio algorithms.
Keywords: cyanobacterial bloom, Caspian Sea, chlorophyll, accessory pigments, remote sensing algorithms, MODIS sensor
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