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IJESD 2013 Vol.4(2): 94-98 ISSN: 2010-0264
DOI: 10.7763/IJESD.2013.V4.312

Optical Spectra of Phytoplankton Cultures for Remote Sensing Applications: Focus on Harmful Algal Blooms

Robert A. Warner and Chunlei Fan

Abstract—Hyperspectral remote sensing reflectance was measured for a series of phytoplankton cultures as the first step in determining major taxon in an algal bloom by remote sensing. Two common bloom-forming species: Dinophyta, the dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum, and Cyanophyta, the cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. were grown as mono cell cultures. Optical spectral measurements were taken from the cultures during logarithmic growth phases with progressive dilutions and culture mixtures. The primary objective of this study was to obtain base line reflectance spectra which can be used as references for remote sensing of algal blooms. Furthermore, the derivative analysis was applied to the reflectance spectra to explore the spectral features that can be used to identify phytoplankton taxon. Results showed that spectral reflectance correlated with phytoplankton biomass. Applying mathematical operators to the spectra of mono cell cultures corresponded to observed spectra of culture mixtures. Our results further corroborate previous findings that for some cases, remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) can be used to identify the primary taxon in algal blooms.

Index Terms—Hyperspectral spectra, remote sensing, algal bloom, derivative analysis.

Robert A. Warner is with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA (e-mail: Robert.A.Warner@noaa.gov).
Chunlei Fan is with the Biology Department/Estuarine Research Center at Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD 21251 USA (e-mail: Chunlei.fan@morgan.edu).


Cite:Robert A. Warner and Chunlei Fan, "Optical Spectra of Phytoplankton Cultures for Remote Sensing Applications: Focus on Harmful Algal Blooms," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 94-98, 2013.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-0264 (Print)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Environ. Sci. Dev.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJESD
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Richard Haynes
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Indexing: Scopus (since 2019), Google ScholarCrossref, ProQuest, EBSCO, etc. 
  • E-mail: ijesd@ejournal.net