Optical Variability

Sources and magnitude of variability of optically active constituents

The range of optically active constituents found in seawater are traditionally grouped in broad categories as: phytoplankton, non-algal particles (organic and inorganic) and CDOM. The degree of optical variability within these categories is generally poorly understood, strongly influenced by measurement errors and has huge potential impact on strategies for modelling underwater lightfields and interpreting OCRS signals.  We are working on a strongly physics-based approach to this issue, trying to clearly establish the influence of measurement uncertainties and true natural variability in the optical properties of OACs. This includes a recently funded NERC standard grant to look at the influence of particle size distribution and aggregation processes on measured IOPs. See the new project website for more info: http://marinephysics.org/submicron

Collaborators on this work:                                                                                                                 Dr Dave Bowers – University of Bangor                                                                                           Dr Alex Nimmo-Smith – University of Plymouth                                                                          Dr Malik Chami and Dr David Doxaran – Laboratoire d’Oceanographie de Villefranche, France                                                                                                                                                     Dr Rudiger Rottgers – HZG, Germany                                                                                              Dr Chuck Trees and Dr Violeta Sanjuan Calzado – NURC, Italy                                              Griet Neukermann – MUMM, Belgium                                                                                         Prof Hubert Loisel – Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, France

Stations from BP09 cruise in the Ligurian Sea on board R.V. Alliance. Data from this cruise are being used to assess the impact of measurement uncertainties on specific inherent optical properties.