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ESA-MERIS 10-year mission reveals contrasting phytoplankton bloom dynamics in two tropical regions of Northern Australia

Blondeau-Patissier, David, Schroeder, Thomas, Brando, Vittorio E., Maier, Stefan W., Dekker, Arnold G. and Phinn, Stuart (2014). ESA-MERIS 10-year mission reveals contrasting phytoplankton bloom dynamics in two tropical regions of Northern Australia. Remote Sensing,6(4):2963-2988.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title ESA-MERIS 10-year mission reveals contrasting phytoplankton bloom dynamics in two tropical regions of Northern Australia
Author Blondeau-Patissier, David
Schroeder, Thomas
Brando, Vittorio E.
Maier, Stefan W.
Dekker, Arnold G.
Phinn, Stuart
Journal Name Remote Sensing
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 4
ISSN 2072-4292   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84898073193
Start Page 2963
End Page 2988
Total Pages 26
Place of Publication Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract The spatial and temporal variability of phytoplankton blooms was investigated in two tropical coastal regions of northern Australia using the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) full mission (2002-2012) reduced resolution dataset. Satellite-derived proxies for phytoplankton (Chlorophyll-a (Chl), Fluorescence Line Height (FLH), Maximum Chlorophyll Index (MCI)) and suspended sediment (Total Suspended Matter (TSM)) were jointly analyzed for two clusters of the Great Barrier Reef Wet tropics (GBRW; 15°-19.5°S; Queensland) and the Van Diemen Gulf (VDG; 9°-13°S; Northern Territory). The analysis of time-series and Hovmöller diagrams of the four MERIS products provided a unique perspective on the processes linking phytoplankton blooms and river runoff, or resuspension, across spatio-temporal scales. Both regions are characterized by a complex oceanography and seasonal inflows of sediment, freshwater and nutrients during the tropical wet season months (November to April). The GBRW is characterized by a great variability in water clarity (Secchi depth 0-25 m). A long history of agricultural land use has led to a large increase in the seasonal discharge of sediments and nutrients, triggering seasonal phytoplankton blooms (>0.4 mgm-3) between January and April. In contrast, the VDG is a poorly flushed, turbid (Secchi depth ≤5 m) environment with strong tidal-energy (4-8 m) and very limited land use. Phytoplankton blooms here were found to have higher Chl concentrations (>1.0 mgm-3) than in the GBRW, occurring up to twice a year between January and April. Over the 10-year MERIS mission, a weak decline in Chl and TSM was observed for the VDG (Sen slope:-2.85%/decade, τ =-0.32 and-3.57%/decade, τ =-0.24; p « 0.05), while no significant trend in those two satellite products was observed in the GBRW. Cyanobacteria surface algal blooms occur in both regions between August and October. The MCI and FLH products were found to adequately complement Chl, while TSM provided relevant insight for the assessment of sediment resuspension and river runoff.
Keywords Phytoplankton
Spatio-temporal patterns
Great Barrier Reef
Van Diemen Gulf
Tropical waters
Wet tropics
DOI   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 3.0 License

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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 16:09:40 CST by Anthony Hornby