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LOCO with a Shipboard Lidar

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The long term goal of this research is to demonstrate an independent ability to use light detection and ranging lidar technology to survey and characterize the optical structure of the marine water column. The Sea Time Resolved Optical Layer Lidar SeaTROLL is a 532 nm lidar system designed for shipboard deployment to investigate the phenomenon of plankton formation into discrete thin layers. The phenomenonology of biological thin layers that can be investigated using lidar are the identification of layer regional distribution, frequency of occurrence, horizontal extent, vertical structure, temporal cycles, optical density, and potentially, unique optical characteristics that identify layer composition. Biological thin layers are defined as concentrations of phytoplanktonic andor zooplanktonic organisms occurring in a vertical thickness of several centimeters to several meters with contiguous horizontal extents on the order of kilometers. A solid body of work has established the existence of thin layers of biological organisms in both fjord and coastal ocean environments. Observations of these structures indicate that they are episodic and that their formation is induced by a combination of stratification and vertical shear Cowles et al., 1998, Cowles, 2003. The initial studies of the physical, biological, and chemical processes associated with thin layers have shown that they are dynamic structures in the spatial domain, that they can persist for days to weeks, and that their biological and chemical rate processes are substantially more intense than those in the surrounding water column Hanson and Donaghay, 1998 Dekshenieks et al., 2001. We do not know the extent of their presence throughout the marine environment, how important thin layers are to the overall productivity of the regional coastal ecology, or how they may interact with the oceanic ecosystem.

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  • Optical Detection and Detectors

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