Remote Sensing

This category contains 12 posts

Dawn of the age of Aquarius…total alkalinity measurements

While not as exciting as the new era of peace predicted by 5th Dimension, it is pretty cool that scientists can measure ocean chemistry from space. The marvels of modern technology, amiright?

Studying plankton from an atmospheric satellite

Scientists found a way to repurpose data from an atmospheric satellite to study the tiny creatures at the base of most ocean food webs. The instrument, originally designed to study aerosols, allowed researchers to build the most complete record of polar plankton activity ever assembled.

Ocean mapping on a budget

The seafloor is complex and mapping it is difficult because direct observations are hindered because it is underwater. Scientists have developed field methods and remote sensing methods to model the geomorphology of the seafloor but they are either limited spatially or by resolution. A newer method being applied to seafloor mapping is called Structure from Motion, and its low cost and high resolution may play a big role in future projects regarding ocean exploration. Read more to find out how scientists used it to increase the accuracy of rugosity measurements on a Hawaiian coral reef.

Listening for Symptoms: A new use for hydrophones in the face of harmful algal blooms

Whales aren’t the only animals hydrophones can detect out in the ocean. In fact, in the near future it might be possible to listen in on animals like scallops and determine if they’re healthy or not. Intrigued? Click here for more!

To I.D. Debris: LIDAR as a tool to identify trash on the beach

Scientists may have a new option for figuring out how much debris litters our beaches and what it all is! Find out more in today’s World Oceans Day post on marine debris!

Miles-deep currents seen from miles high

The system of currents that moves water and heat around the globe and regulates global climate may be slowing down. For the first time, researchers are able to track the changes from space.

Jump in, the water is warm!

Satellite data was used to measure surface water temperatures throughout Chesapeake Bay over the last 28 years. This new approach will allow us to monitor future water temperature changes from the comfort of home. This study uncovered that Chesapeake Bay water temperatures are increasing faster than air temperatures, which could have negative ecological consequences.

Blooming around the world: A story of coccolithophore co-existence

Satellite remote sensing suggests that different phytoplankton species can live in harmony during phytoplankton blooms in the open ocean.

Glacial crevasses: how deep do they go? What does it mean?

The techniques applied here provide a much needed coastal view of the Greenland ice sheets. Work done in previous studies have successfully provided insight to glacial geometry inland, however, the information yielded about ice on the edge is weak. The results of this study agree with previous work inland while also significantly refining what is known about the coast.

Determining viral controls of phytoplankton blooms

Article: Lehahn, Y. et al. Decoupling Physical from Biological Processes to Assess the Impact of Viruses on a Mesoscale Algal Bloom.Current Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.07.046 Background Despite their small size, phytoplankton play an incredibly large role in maintaining ocean food webs and can even contribute to global climate. As plants, phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide and fix it […]

Need help counting bubbles? Now you can use sound!

Bubbles elicit scenes of childhood summers playing on the front stoop or backyard. On the other hand, put bubbles at the bottom of the ocean and you will find highly educated adults toiling with complicated mathematical equations and state-of-the-art technology.

WACS cruise track superimposed on maps of satellite-derived chlorophyll-a concenatrtions using the Aqua Modis satellite.

A break-up in the relationship between organic carbon in sea spray and chlorophyll-a concentrations

The transfer of organic matter from the surface sea water to sea spray aerosols appears constant despite the concentration of chlorophyll-a. This could suggest that satellite-derived estimates of organic matter in sea spray are inaccurate in the open ocean

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