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New results from a global survey using MERIS MCI

Jim Gower(1) and Stephanie King(1)

(1) IOS, POB 6000, Sidney BC V8L 5T9, Canada


Global composites of MCI (Maximum Chlorophyll Index) at 5-km spatial resolution from the MERIS sensor provide a tool for mapping intense surface blooms and marine vegetation. The MERIS MCI measures the water-leaving radiance at 709 nm relative to a background radiance linearly interpolated between 681 and 754 nm, and indicates the presence of high surface concentrations of chlorophyll a against a scattering background. The index is high in “red tide” conditions (intense, visible, surface plankton blooms), and also when aquatic vegetation is present. A bloom search based on MCI has resulted in detection of a wide variety of events, as well as providing the first large area survey of pelagic Sargassum. MCI composite images have been produced daily from all MERIS (daylight) passes of Reduced Resolution (RR) data since June 9 2002. These allow the full globe to be searched, though the reduced spatial resolution may cause smaller events to be missed. This paper describes observations of plankton blooms, Sargassum and coral reefs. The MCI is not available from MODIS, SeaWiFS or the future US VIIRS, since these do not have a 709 nm band.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry