Title: Bio-Optical Profiling Floats as New Observational Tools for Biogeochemical and Ecosystem Studies: Potential Synergies with Ocean Color Remote Sensing
Citation: Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society vol. 2
Publisher: ESA Publication
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC55258
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC55258
DOI: 10.5270/OceanObs09.cwp.17
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Profiling floats now represent a mature technology. In parallel with their emergence, the field of miniature, low power bio-optical and biogeochemical sensors is rapidly evolving. Over recent years, the bio-geochemical and bio-optical community has begun to benefit from the increase in observational capacities by developing profiling floats that allow the measurement of key biooptical variables and subsequent products of biogeochemical and ecosystem relevance like Chlorophyll a (Chla), optical backscattering or attenuation coefficients which are proxies of Particulate Organic Carbon (POC), Colored Dissolved Organic Matter (CDOM). Thanks to recent algorithmic improvements, new bio-optical variables such as backscattering coefficient or absorption by CDOM, at present can also be extracted from space observations of ocean color. In the future, an intensification of in situ measurements by bio-optical profiling floats would permit the elaboration of unique 3D / 4D bio-optical climatologies, linking surface (remotely detected) properties to their vertical distribution (measured by autonomous platforms), with which key questions in the role of the ocean in climate could be addressed. In this context, the objective of the IOCCG (International Ocean Color Coordinating Group) BIO-Argo working group is to elaborate recommendations in view of a future use of bio-optical profiling floats as part of a network that would include a global array that could be ¿Argo-relevant¿, and specific arrays that would have more focused objectives or regional targets. The overall network, realizing true multi-scale sustained observations of global marine biogeochemistry and biooptics, should satisfy the requirements for validation of ocean color remote sensing as well as the needs of a wider community investigating the impact of global change on biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Regarding the global profiling float array, the recommendation is that Chla as well as POC should be the key variables to be systematically measured. A first target would be to implement 20% of the Argo floats with these measurements within a five-year term. The yearly additional cost is estimated to 1.5 M$, including additional management structure in each of the two Global Data Assembly Centers.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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