Drivers of spectral optical scattering by particles in the upper 500 m of the Atlantic Ocean

Organelli, E; Dall’Olmo, G; Brewin, RJW; Nencioli, F; Tarran, GA. 2020 Drivers of spectral optical scattering by particles in the upper 500 m of the Atlantic Ocean. Optics Express, 28 (23). 34147. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.408439

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.408439

Abstract/Summary

Optical models have been proposed to relate spectral variations in the beam attenuation (cp) and optical backscattering (bbp) coefficients to marine particle size distributions (PSDs). However, due to limited PSD data, particularly in the open ocean, optically derived PSDs suffer from large uncertainties and we have a poor empirical understanding of the drivers of spectral cp and bbp coefficients. Here we evaluated PSD optical proxies and investigated their drivers by analyzing an unprecedented dataset of co-located PSDs, phytoplankton abundances and optical measurements collected across the upper 500 m of the Atlantic Ocean. The spectral slope of cp was correlated (r>0.59) with the slope of the PSD only for particles with diameters >1 µm and also with eukaryotic phytoplankton concentrations. No significant relationships between PSDs and the spectral slope of bbp were observed. In the upper 200 m, the bbp spectral slope was correlated to the light absorption by particles (ap; r<-0.54) and to the ratio of cyanobacteria to eukaryotic phytoplankton. This latter correlation was likely the consequence of the strong relationship we observed between ap and the concentration of eukaryotic phytoplankton (r=0.83).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Atlantic Meridional Transect
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > National Centre for Earth Observation
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > Single Centre NC - CLASS
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 28 Oct 2020 14:34
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2020 14:34
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/9067

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