Monitoring Abnormal Bio-optical and Physical Properties in the Gulf of Mexico
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Monitoring Abnormal Bio-optical and Physical Properties in the Gulf of Mexico

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  • Journal Title:
    Ocean Sensing and Monitoring
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    The dynamic bio-optical and physical ocean properties within the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) have been identified by the Ocean Weather Laboratory. Ocean properties from VIIRS satellite (Chlorophyll and Bio-Optics and SST) and ocean-circulation models (currents, SST and salinity) were used to identify regions of dynamic changing properties. The degree of environmental change is defined by the dynamic anomaly of bio-optical and physical environmental properties (DAP). A Mississippi River plume event (Aug 2015) that extended to Key West was used to demonstrate the anomaly products. Locations where normal and abnormal ocean properties occur determine ecological and physical hotspots in the GoM, which can be used for adaptive sampling of ocean processes. Methods are described to characterize the weekly abnormal environmental properties using differences with a previous baseline 8 week mean with a 2 week lag. The intensity of anomaly is quantified using levels of standard deviation of the baseline and can be used to recognize ocean events and provide decision support for adaptive sampling. The similarities of the locations of different environmental property anomalies suggest interaction between the bio-optical and physical properties. A coral bleaching event at the Flower Garden Banks Marine Protected Area is represented by the salinity anomaly. Results identify ocean regions for sampling to reduce data gaps and improve monitoring of bio-optical and physical properties.
  • Source:
    Ocean Sensing and Monitoring, 10186.
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