One of the fundamental problems in ocean optics over the past several decades has been understanding the source of backscattering in the ocean. Because of experimental and theoretical limitations, knowledge of the causative agents for backscattering must be improved. Our involvement in this project focus on the following:

  • Measurement of the particle size distributions and spectral slope using a LISST-100X and Coulter Counter
  • Participation in field sampling in North Atlantic, Long Island Sound, and Florida Bay to measure
    backscattering, absorption, remote sensing reflectance, and particle size distributons
  • Analysis of the relationship between backscattering and empirical ocean color algorithms

Initial results from this project have demonstrated that the complex morphology and hard outer layering of coastal phytoplankton substantially increases their relative backscattering. Empirical ocean color algorithms have two slopes that are dominated by absorption and backscattering properties in relationship to chlorophyll.

This research is a collaboration with Michael Twardowski, WETLabs, and James Sullivan, University of Rhode Island, funded by the Ocean Optics program, Office of Naval Resarch.

Chaetocerus Enigma_LISST  Chaetocerus laser