Environmental optics

Figure 1: Landsat true colour image of a coccolithophore bloom (July 1999). The PML EOG sampled within this bloom using in-situ radiometry and measured its Inherent Optical Properties (IOPs)"

The Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) Environmental Optics Group (EOG) aims to develop, test and implement bio-optical algorithms to enable quantitative Earth Observation of the atmosphere and ocean. This is done primarily by the collection of quality assured in situ observations at our regular sampling sites in the English Channel (L4, E1) and on research cruises. The "sea-truth" observations are taken with a range of state-of-the-art in situ optical instrumentation together with associated bio-optical measurements (such as pigments and particulates) which involve the measurement of in-situ profiles and laboratory sample analyses. The group comprises of a multi-disciplinary team of scientists with expertise in biology, remote-sensing, physics and meteorology.

The main staff involved in this work are Gavin Tilstone, Victor Martinez Vicente, James Fishwick, Gerald Moore, Takafumi Hirata and Tim Smyth with financial support from the NERC, ESA, EU and private research contracts.

Figure 2: Scanning Electron Microscope image of a) an intact coccolithophore (Emiliana huxleyi), diameter approximately 5 microns and b) E. huxleyi shedding its chalky liths.

Recent publications

Tilstone, G. H., T. J. Smyth, R. J. Gowen, V. Martinez-Vicente, S. B. Groom. (2005) Inherent optical properties of the Irish Sea and their effect on satellite primary production algorithms. Journal of Plankton Research 27(11) 1-22.

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