CoBOP Coral Reefs: Optical Closure of a Coral Reef Submarine Light Field
BIGELOW LAB FOR OCEAN SCIENCES WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR ME
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The primary goal for this project is to obtain optical closure of the submarine light field overlying coral reef environments by measuring the basic optical properties of the water column and benthic surfaces. These measurements can also be used to develop remote sensing algorithms for the determination of biomass, diversity and primary production of benthic corals, seagrasses and macroalgal communities. Our objectives are to investigate the time scales of variability and effects of tidal and wind driven flow on water column inherent and apparent optical properties . It is our opinion that there will be times when efforts to remotely sense benthic communities will be thwarted due to the dominance of water column optical properties under conditions of high flow in shallow waters. We are attempting to combine fluorescence signatures with algorithms which will measure the kinetics of photosynthesis, our objective is to have a system which assesses the contribution of algal color groups to the total primary production over large regions of shallow water. The key is to establish the relationship of fluorescence yield to photosynthetic rate. We will determine the reflectance spectral signatures of corals, seagrasses and unconsolidated sediments in meter scale patches and as individual organisms. Specific emphasis will be placed on the changes in spectral reflectance and fluorescence as a function of depth.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography