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Marine Science


An in situ multisensor fiber-optic fluorometer (MFF) has been developed to acquire long-term chlorophyll fluorescence measurements in the oceanic bottom boundary layer to characterize the finescale pigment structure at vertical spatial scales comparable to physical measurements. The eight fluorescence sensors of the MFF are composed of dual optical fibers of varying lengths (1.5-8 m), with the fiber ends oriented at 30 degrees to each other and enclosed by a small light baffle. Strobe excitation blue light is passed through one of each pair of optical fibers and stimulated chlorophyll fluorescence is carried back to a photomultiplier. Two sets of four fluorescence sensors assigned to high- and low-sensitivity photomultiplier detectors enable chlorophyll a measurements in two ranges, 0-50 mg m(-3) and 0-200 mg m(-3), respectively. Aspects of the design of the fiber-optic sensor are described that were intended to optimize detection of fluorescence signals and minimize interference by ambient light. The fiber-optic sensor outputs were stable with minimal instrument drift during long-term field operations, and measurements were not affected by turbidity and ambient light. A vertical array of fiber-optic fluorescence sensors supported on a tripod has been deployed at coastal sites for up to seven weeks and chlorophyll fluorescence was obtained with sufficiently high vertical spatial and temporal resolution.


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Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology





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