BELCOLOUR-2 - Optical remote sensing of marine, coastal and inland waters

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Context and objectives

The general objective of the BELCOLOUR-2 project is to improve the quality of existing optical remote sensing products for marine and inland waters based on new knowledge and to develop new products (including primary production and partial pressure of CO2) for key applications such as aquaculture support and air-sea CO2 flux estimation. BELCOLOUR-2 will build on the experience built up in the BELCOLOUR-1 project whose results can be found at Key issues to be dealt with in BELCOLOUR-2 include automated data quality control, validation, phytoplankton optical properties and taxonomic groups, atmospheric correction, primary production, air-sea CO2 flux estimation and the preparation of new technologies including future satellite-based hyperspectral sensors, geostationary sensors and unmanned airborne vehicules.

Project outcome

The contributions are described briefly in the final report and in detail in the corresponding publications, covering the following topics:

  • Spectral variation of particulate scattering, including the impact of absorption and the differentiation between non-algae particles and blooms of Phaeocystis globosa
  • Mass-specific side, back and total scattering of particles, and characterisation of variability
  • Spectral variation of Coloured Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM) absorption and the relation between spectral slope and CDOM origin
  • A detection algorithm for Phaeocystis globosa
  • A detection algorithm for Noctiluca scintillans
  • Detection of high biomass algal blooms
  • Estimation of Total Suspended Matter for airborne and polar and geostationary satellite remote sensing
  • Estimation of turbidity in moderately and extremely turbid waters
  • Variation of marine reflectance in the Short Wave Infrared
  • Use of geostatistical techniques for cloud filling and outlier detection
  • Atmospheric correction of geostationary remote sensing data
  • Detection and correction of adjacency effects
  • Atmospheric correction for extremely turbid waters
  • Estimation of the diffuse attenuation coefficient
  • Estimation of CO2 partial pressure
  • Estimation of primary production

The exploitation of remote sensing data is also described in a number of applications including ecosystem modelling, sediment transport, primary production, algae bloom dynamics and the genetic adaptation of marine visual predators. Finally a number of challenges and opportunities are outlined for possible future research.