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Interdisciplinary Applications of Autonomous Observation Systems

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LONG-TERM GOALS. Our long-term goal is to develop improved autonomous observation systems and analytical capabilities for describing the distributions and activities of marine microbes in relation to their physical, chemical and optical environment in support of multidisciplinary, data-assimilating predictive models of optical and biological processes in the world ocean. OBJECTIVES. Our primary objectives are To develop and test new interdisciplinary sensor arrays on a variety of in situ platforms to describe biological variability in relation to the optical, physical and chemical environment of the ocean and To use data from these sensor systems in multidisciplinary models of physically and chemically driven ocean biology. APPROACH. Data from deployments of coastal ocean observatories and research cruises are used to develop and evaluate models and bio-optical algorithms for estimating optical and biological properties of surface waters using measurements from a variety of optical instruments. An extensive program of sampling from research vessels at our coastal observatories provides a large set of data for development and validation of bio-optical models for case 2 waters. Several of our bio-optical analyses utilize chlorophyll fluorescence--sun-induced, or stimulated by a variety of fluorometers--to describe variability in the biomass or physiological status of phytoplankton. Consequently, we study the environmental influences on chlorophyll fluorescence in controlled laboratory experiments using different taxonomic groups of phytoplankton. The research includes a careful characterization of Satlantic s new Fluorescence Induction and Relaxation FIRe fluorometer, to define clearly its potential and limitations for describing phytoplankton physiology under a broad range of conditions.

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  • Earth Sciences and Oceanography
  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods

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