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Can Satellite-derived Chlorophyll Imagery Be Used to Trace Surface Dynamics in Coastal Zone? A Case Study in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea
LSEET, UMR 6017 CNRS-Université du Sud Toulon Var, BP132, 83957 La Garde, France
IFREMER, DYNECO, Centre de Brest, BP70, 29280 Plouzané, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2007; Accepted: 4 June 2007 / Published: 6 June 2007
Abstract: A comparison of chlorophyll data from SeaWiFS imagery and modeling results from a 3D hydrodynamical model was performed over the northwestern Mediterranean for the entire year of 2001. The study aims at investigating the information content brought by satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration ([Chl]) maps concerning surface dynamics in coastal zone. The study is mainly focused on the Gulf of Lions (GoL) and its outer region, which are mainly influenced by the Rhône River, local winds and the Northern Current (NC) flowing from the East along the continental slope. The physical hydrodynamical model was continuously run and 40 SeaWiFS images, presenting a significant coverage of the studied area, were selected. The comparison between [Chl] and sea surface salinity (SSS) fields on a pixel basis showed no definite correlation trends. Three reasons are given in discussion for that result. However, the comparison emphasized areas close to the coasts which were under the influence of different inputs not considered in the model and also of upwellings. A qualitative analysis of the data performed out of these regions exhibited significant similarities between [Chl] and SSS features. The signature of the Rhône ROFI (Region of Fresh Water Influence) and, in some cases, of the NC, was evidenced on [Chl] maps. We found that the intensity of this signature is seasonally modulated, e.g., it is low in open sea during the summer, oligotrophic, season. In addition, the signature of the Rhône ROFI in the western part of the GoL can be only partial due to local chlorophyll deficits. We conclude that, for the regional case studied, chlorophyll imagery can be used as a tracer of surface dynamics through surface salinity but with limitations, especially near the coasts.
Keywords: Gulf of Lions; SeaWiFS; surface chlorophyll; MARS hydrodynamical model
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Forget, P.; André, G. Can Satellite-derived Chlorophyll Imagery Be Used to Trace Surface Dynamics in Coastal Zone? A Case Study in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Sensors 2007, 7, 884-904.
Forget P, André G. Can Satellite-derived Chlorophyll Imagery Be Used to Trace Surface Dynamics in Coastal Zone? A Case Study in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Sensors. 2007; 7(6):884-904.
Forget, Philippe; André, Gael. 2007. "Can Satellite-derived Chlorophyll Imagery Be Used to Trace Surface Dynamics in Coastal Zone? A Case Study in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea." Sensors 7, no. 6: 884-904.