Title: Influence of natural biogeochemical controls on primary productivity on the optical properties of surface seawater
Researchers: Dr Sarah Nicholas, Prof. Peter Croot
The maintenance of Good Environmental Status (GES) in the marine sector requires monitoring of all industrial activities and requires that a well-established set of baseline conditions is known. For much of the global ocean what determine GES is still poorly described, however current legislation, such as the EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires that it be assessed and in some way quantified. An important aspect to GES is that it be viewed not just as a concentration or abundance threshold but that the natural variability in that quantity be understood and what processes driver this variability. In this context the main focus of this project is to examine the influence of natural biogeochemical controls underlying primary productivity in the ocean and how they impact on the optical properties of seawater, with particular reference to the absorbance and fluorescence of coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM). This work will have critical implications for the development of algorithms based on remote sensing data for the ocean surface with respect to variability in baseline conditions and in turn the detection and monitoring of marine pollution events.