Using the Red Band Difference Algorithm to Detect and Monitor a Karenia spp. Bloom Off the South Coast of Ireland, June 2019

Catherine Jordan, Caroline Cusack, Michelle C. Tomlinson, Andrew Meredith, Ryan Mc Geady, Rafael Salas, Clynton Gregory, Peter L. Croot

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Abstract

During the months of May, June, July and August 2019 the Red Band Difference algorithm was tested over Irish waters to assess its suitability for the Irish harmful algal bloom alert system. Over the 4 weeks of June an extensive localised surface phytoplankton bloom formed in the Celtic Sea, south of Ireland. Satellite imagery from the Sentinel-3a’s Ocean and Land Colour Instrument, processed using the Red Band Difference algorithm detected the bloom in surface shelf waters and helped monitor its movement. Daily satellite images indicated that the bloom appeared at the sea surface on the 2nd June 2019 and peaked in size and surface abundance in offshore shelf waters within 4 weeks, remnants remained at the surface into July. A particle tracking approach was used to replicate oceanic circulation patterns in the vicinity of the observed algal bloom and estimate its trajectory. The initial horizontal distribution of particles in the tracking model were based on a satellite imagery polygon of the bloom when it first appeared in surface waters. Good agreement was observed between satellite imagery of the bloom and the particle tracking model. In situ sampling efforts from a research cruise and the national inshore phytoplankton monitoring programme confirmed that Karenia mikimotoi was the causative organism of the bloom. This pilot study shows great potential to use the Red Band Difference algorithm in the existing Irish harmful algal bloom alert system. In addition, satellite ocean colour data combined with particle tracking model estimates can be a useful tool to monitor high biomass harmful algal bloom forming species, such as Karenia mikimotoi, in surface coastal waters around Ireland and elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Article number638889
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Harmful algal bloom
  • Red Band DIfference
  • OLCI
  • Remote sensing
  • Aquaculture
  • Ocean colour
  • Particle tracking
  • Monitoring programme

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