Primary Production in the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Waters Using Remotely Sensed Trophic Category Approach

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Marine Science


Attempts to derive ocean-color based estimates of pigment and primary production in coastal waters have been complicated by the contributions of signals from non-pigment materials to the water leaving radiance. An ocean-color model to estimate primary production was evaluated for coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The model utilizes C-sat, (mg m(-3)) (a variable that accounts for the pigment sensed by the satellite sensor), photosynthetically available radiation (PAR, J m(-2) day(-1)) and a parameter. psi* m(2) (g Chl)(-1), the water column chlorophyll specific cross-section for photosynthesis. C-sat and PAR were treated as variables while psi*; was a site-specific parameter in the model. The model uses the approach outlined in Morel and Berthon (1989) Limnology and Oceanography, 34, 1545-1562, but with site-specific statistical relationships to estimate the integrated pigment in the water column from C-sat and site-specific trophic categories (oligotrophic to eutrophic) based on pigment concentration in the water column. The statistical relationships perform extremely well within the ranges of C-sat and integral chlorophyll normally encountered in the coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. psi* varies between 0.054 and 0.063 m(2) (g Chi)(-1) and are comparable to values observed in other regions. The ability of the model to predict production using psi* within each of the trophic categories was demonstrated. The overall performance of the model has been encouraging for two reasons: (a) the possibility of estimating production from future ocean-color sensors, and (b) the fact that the model performs well in a dynamic coastal area.

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Continental Shelf Research





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