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Narragansett Pier, RI, United States

Chekalyuk A.,Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory | Barnard A.,WET Labs Inc. | Quigg A.,Texas A&M University at Galveston | Quigg A.,Texas A&M University | And 2 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2014

The new Aquatic Laser Fluorescence Analyzer (ALFA) provides spectral and temporal measurements of laser-stimulated emission (LSE) for assessment of phytoplankton pigments, community structure, photochemical efficiency (PY), and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). The instrument was deployed in the Northern Gulf of Mexico to evaluate the ALFA analytical capabilities across the estuarine-marine gradient. The robust relationships between the pigment fluorescence and independent pigment measurements were used to validate the ALFA analytical algorithms and calibrate the instrument. The maximal PY magnitudes, PYm = PY(1-1.35·10-4PAR)-1, were estimated using the underway measurements of PY and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The chlorophyll (Chl) spatial patterns were calculated using the ratio of Chl fluorescence to PY to eliminate the effect of non-photochemical quenching on the underway Chl assessments. These measurements have provided rich information about spatial distributions of Chl, PYm, CDOM, and phytoplankton community structure, and demonstrated the utility of the ALFA instrument for oceanographic studies and bio-environmental surveys. The data suggest that the fluorescence measurements with 514 nm excitation can provide informative data for characterization of the CDOM-rich fresh, estuarine, and coastal aquatic environments. ©2014 Optical Society of America.

Cheriton O.M.,University of California at Santa Cruz | McManus M.A.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Steinbuck J.V.,Stanford University | Stacey M.T.,University of California at Berkeley | Sullivan J.M.,WET Labs Inc.
Continental Shelf Research | Year: 2010

Thin phytoplankton layers are common features in the coastal environment; however sampling these fine-scale optical features across broad horizontal scales remains a challenge. To investigate the horizontal spatial structure of thin phytoplankton layers, we performed an overnight survey in northern Monterey Bay, CA, USA using a SeaSciences Acrobat towed-vehicle. Physical and optical measurements were collected between the surface and near-bottom-depths along four parallel, across-shore transects. Three coherent chlorophyll features were observed: (1) a broad, sub-surface patch at the offshore end, (2) a near-surface patch at the nearshore end, and (3) a deep patch located between the nearshore and offshore patches. The offshore and nearshore patch were separated by a change in seafloor slope and a region of compressed, shoaling isopycnals. Both the offshore and nearshore features were located at the pycnocline, had similar optical properties, and were co-located with a low-salinity intrusion. The deep chlorophyll patch had associated physical and optical properties that were distinct from the patches at the pycnocline. The results from this study further underscore the heterogeneous horizontal spatial structure of thin layers and also add to the growing evidence suggesting that low-salinity intrusions may be strongly linked to the formation of thin phytoplankton layers over the northern shelf of Monterey Bay. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Chang G.,Sea Engineering Inc. | Twardowski M.S.,WET Labs Inc.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2011

We computed the modulation transfer function (MTF), which is the magnitude of the Fourier transform of the point spread function, for two different water bodies using measurements of optical properties and analytical formulations. Knowledge of the MTF is important for the interpretation of images from underwater electro-optical systems. The data were collected from two field sites as part of the Office of Naval Research sponsored Radiance in a Dynamic Ocean program: (1) Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) Pier, a shallow-water, eutrophic environment, and (2) the Santa Barbara Channel (SBC), a deeper, mesotrophic environment. Wavelet analysis was employed to investigate the sources of variability of the MTF and the periodicities at which they occur. Results suggest that the MTF was strongly related to wind conditions and advection events and the optical properties serving as proxies for particle concentration and composition in the SBC. Increased wind speeds and stresses resulted in upper water column mixing, decreased water clarity, and reductions in image transmission. Rip currents accompanied by high concentrations of reflective particles observed at SIO Pier resulted in increases in the MTF. Optically derived particle composition characteristics such as the bulk particle real index of refraction and particle size distribution are shown to be related to the variability of imaging performance at both field sites. © 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Bhandari P.,University of Miami | Voss K.J.,University of Miami | Logan L.,University of Miami | Twardowski M.,WET Labs Inc.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans | Year: 2011

The spectral polarized radiance distribution provides the most complete description of the light field that can be measured. However, this is a very difficult parameter to measure, particularly near the surface, because of its large dynamic range, changes in the skylight illumination, and waves at the air-sea interface. To measure the Stokes vector of the downwelling light field, which contains the polarization information, requires the combination of four images acquired simultaneously. To achieve this, we used the downwelling polarized radiance distribution camera system (DPOL) during the Radiance in a Dynamic Ocean (RaDyO) program Santa Barbara Channel and Hawaiian experiments. DPOL consists of four fisheye lenses and a spectral filter changer that allow us to capture the downwelling hemisphere of the polarized radiance distribution at seven wavelengths. Our measurements show that very near the surface, for clear sky conditions, the dominant source of polarization is the refracted sky light. As one progresses in the water column the polarization due to light scattering by the water increases and polarization due to light scattering in the water becomes dominant. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Roesler C.S.,Bowdoin College | Barnard A.H.,WET Labs Inc.
Methods in Oceanography | Year: 2013

The pigment absorption peak in the red waveband observed in phytoplankton and particulate absorption spectra is primarily associated with chlorophyll-a and exhibits much lower pigment packaging compared to the blue peak. The minor contributions to the signature by accessory pigments can be largely removed by computing the line height absorption at 676 nm above a linear background between approximately 650 nm and 715 nm. The line height determination is also effective in removing the contributions to total or particulate absorption by colored dissolved organic matter and non-algal particles, and is relatively independent of the effects of biofouling. The line height absorption is shown to be significantly related to the extracted chlorophyll concentration over a large range of natural optical regimes and diverse phytoplankton cultures. Unlike the in situ fluorometric method for estimating chlorophyll, the absorption line height is not sensitive to incident irradiance, in particular non-photochemical quenching. The combination of the two methods provides a combination of robust phytoplankton biomass estimates, pigment based taxonomic information and a means to estimate the photosynthetic parameter, E K, the irradiance at which photosynthesis transitions from light limitation to light saturation. © 2013 The Authors.

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