Estimation of Size-Fractionated Primary Production from Satellite Ocean Colour in UK Shelf Seas

Academic Article


  • Satellite ocean-colour based models of size-fractionated primary production (PP) have been developed for the oceans on a global level. Uncertainties exist as to whether these models are accurate for temperate Shelf seas. In this paper, an existing ocean-colour based PP model is tuned using a large in situ database of size-fractionated measurements from the Celtic Sea and Western English Channel of chlorophyll-a (Chl a) and the photosynthetic parameters, the maximum photosynthetic rate ( P m B ) and light limited slope ( α B ). Estimates of size fractionated PP over an annual cycle in the UK shelf seas are compared with the original model that was parameterised using in situ data from the open ocean and a climatology of in situ PP from 2009 to 2015. The Shelf Sea model captured the seasonal patterns in size-fractionated PP for micro- and picophytoplankton, and generally performed better than the original open ocean model, except for nanophytoplankton PP which was over-estimated. The overestimation in PP is in part due to errors in the parameterisation of the biomass profile during summer, stratified conditions. Compared to the climatology of in situ data, the shelf sea model performed better when phytoplankton biomass was high, but overestimated PP at low Chl a.
  • Authors

  • Curran, Kieran
  • Brewin, Robert JW
  • Tilstone, Gavin H
  • Bouman, Heather A
  • Hickman, Anna
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2018
  • Published In

  • Remote Sensing  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Celtic Sea
  • Pico
  • Shelf seas
  • Western English Channel
  • microphytoplankton
  • nano
  • ocean colour
  • photosynthesis
  • primary production
  • remote sensing
  • size fractionated
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 1389
  • End Page

  • 1389
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 9