Beyond the first optical depth: Fusing optical data from ocean color imagery and gliders

M. A. Montes-Hugo, R. Gould, R. Arnone, H. Ducklow, K. Carder, D. English, O. Schofield, J. Kerfoot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Optical properties derived from ocean color imagery represent vertically-integrated values from roughly the first attenuation length in the water column, thereby providing no information on the vertical structure. Robotic, in situ gliders, on the other hand, are not as synoptic, but provide the vertical structure. By linking measurements from these two platforms we can obtain a more complete environmental picture. We merged optical measurements derived from gliders with ocean color satellite imagery to reconstruct vertical structure of particle size spectra (PSD) in Antarctic shelf waters during January 2007. Satellite-derived PSD was estimated from reflectance ratios using the spectral slope of particulate backscattering (γbbp). Average surface values (0-20 m depth) of γbbp were spatially coherent (1 to 50 km resolution) between space and in-water remote sensing estimates. This agreement was confirmed with shipboard vertical profiles of spectral backscattering (HydroScat-6). It is suggested the complimentary use of glider-satellite optical relationships, ancillary data (e.g., wind speed) and ecological interpretation of spatial changes on particle dynamics (e.g., phytoplankton growth) to model underwater light fields based on cloud-free ocean color imagery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOcean Remote Sensing
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Applications
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
EventOcean Remote Sensing: Methods and Applications - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2009Aug 2 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOcean Remote Sensing: Methods and Applications
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Data fusion
  • Gliders
  • Marine waters
  • Ocean color sensors
  • Optical properties
  • Particle size distribution
  • Remote sensing reflectance
  • Southern ocean
  • Vertical structure

Cite this

Montes-Hugo, M. A., Gould, R., Arnone, R., Ducklow, H., Carder, K., English, D., Schofield, O., & Kerfoot, J. (2009). Beyond the first optical depth: Fusing optical data from ocean color imagery and gliders. In Ocean Remote Sensing: Methods and Applications [74590N] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 7459).