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Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society

COMMUNITY WHITE PAPER10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.17

Bio-Optical Profiling Floats as New Observational Tools for Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Studies: Potential Synergies with Ocean Color Remote Sensing.

Hervé Claustre(1), James Bishop(2), Emmanuel Boss(3), Stewart Bernard(4), Jean-François Berthon(5), Christine Coatanoan(6), Ken Johnson(7), Aneesh Lotiker(8), Osvaldo Ulloa(9), Marie Jane Perry(10), Frabizio D'ortenzio(1), Odile Hembise Fanton D'Andon(11), Julia Uitz(12)

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Profiling floats now represent a mature technology. In parallel with their emergence, the field of miniature, low power bio-optical and biogeochemical sensors is rapidly evolving. Over recent years, the bio-geochemical and bio-optical community has begun to benefit from the increase in observational capacities by developing profiling floats that allow the measurement of key bio-optical variables and subsequent products of biogeochemical and ecosystem relevance like Chlorophyll a (Chla), optical backscattering or attenuation coefficients which are proxies of Particulate Organic Carbon (POC), Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM). Thanks to recent algorithmic improvements, new bio-optical variables such as backscattering coefficient or absorption by CDOM, at present can also be extracted from space observations of ocean color. In the future, an intensification of in situ measurements by bio-optical profiling floats would permit the elaboration of unique 3D / 4D bio-optical climatologies, linking surface (remotely detected) properties to their vertical distribution (measured by autonomous platforms), with which key questions in the role of the ocean in climate could be addressed. In this context, the objective of the IOCCG (International Ocean Color Coordinating Group) BIO-Argo working group is to elaborate recommendations in view of a future use of bio-optical profiling floats as part of a network that would include a global array that could be "Argo-relevant" and specific arrays that would have more focused objectives or regional targets. The overall network, realizing true multi-scale sustained observations of global marine biogeochemistry and bio-optics, should satisfy the requirements for validation of ocean color remote sensing as well as the needs of a wider community investigating the impact of global change on biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Regarding the global profiling float array, the recommendation is that Chla as well as POC should be the key variables to be systematically measured. A first target would be to implement 20% of the Argo floats with these measurements within a five-year term. The yearly additional cost is estimated to 1.5 M$, including additional management structure in each of the two Global Data Assembly Centers.

1CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and University P. & M. Curie, Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche, Chemin du Lazaret, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
2Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, One Cyclotron Road, M/S 90-1116, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3University of Maine, School of Marine Science, 5741 Libby Hall Room 204A Orono, ME 04469-5741, USA
4CSIR - NRE (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research - Natural Resources and the Environmen) Ecosystems Earth Observation, 11 Jan Cilliers Street, Stellenbosch, South Africa
5JRC (Joint Research Centre), - European Commission Global Environment Monitoring Unit Institute for Environment and Sustainability,Via Fermi, TP 272, 21027 Ispra, Italy, Via Fermi, TP 272, 21027 Ispra, Italy
6Coriolis Data Center, IFREMER (French Institute for Exploitation of the Sea/Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer) DOP/DCB/IDM/SISMER (Informatique et donnees marines/Systèmes d'Informations Scientifiques pour la Mer), Centre de Brest, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané, France
7Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Road Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
8Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), P.B. No. 21, Ocean Valley, Gajularamaram, IDA Jeedimetla, Hyderabad 500 055, India
9Departamento de Oceanografía, Laboratorio de Procesos Oceanográficos y Clima (PROFC), Universidad de Concepcion, Cabina 7 - Barrio Universitario, Casilla 160-C, Concepción 3, Chile
10University of Maine, Darling Marine Center , 193 Clarks Cove Road, Walpole, ME 04573 USA
11ACRI-ST (Earth Observation - Environment), 260 route du Pin Montard, BP 234, 06904 Sophia-Antipolis Cedex, France
12Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, Spiess Hall, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0238, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to E-mail: claustre@obs-vlfr.fr

This paper shall be cited as:

Claustre, H. & Co-Authors (2010). "Bio-Optical Profiling Floats as New Observational Tools for Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Studies: Potential Synergies with Ocean Color Remote Sensing." in Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society (Vol. 2), Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, Hall, J., Harrison, D.E. & Stammer, D., Eds., ESA Publication WPP-306, doi:10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.17

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