Combining in-situ water quality and remotely sensed data across spatial and temporal scales to measure variability in wet season chlorophyll-a: Great Barrier Reef lagoon (Queensland, Australia)

Devlin, Michelle J., da Silva, Eduardo Teixeira, Petus, Caroline, Wenger, Amelia, Zeh, Daniel, Tracey, Dieter, Álvarez-Romero, Jorge G., and Brodie, Jon (2013) Combining in-situ water quality and remotely sensed data across spatial and temporal scales to measure variability in wet season chlorophyll-a: Great Barrier Reef lagoon (Queensland, Australia). Ecological Processes, 2. pp. 1-22.

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Abstract

Introduction: Combining in-situ data from single-point time series with remotely sensed spatial data allowed a greater elucidation of changes in chlorophyll-a concentrations through wet season conditions in the Great Barrier Reef coastal waters.

Methods: Single-point time-series data were collected from 2006 to 2012 during high river flow conditions to assess changes in phytoplankton biomass (measured as chlorophyll-a). Additionally, three flood plume water types, derived from classified true-colour Aqua moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, were used to group single-point time-series data for the phytoplankton biomass assessment.

Results: Survey data illustrate the heterogeneity of chlorophyll-a distribution over seasonal and inter-annual cycles and the difficulty in describing community responses through the wet season. The spatial data demonstrate distinct regional differences throughout the Great Barrier Reef. The high chlorophyll-a concentrations measured in flood plume waters immediately adjacent to the inshore, highly turbid 'inner' flood plume are a product of sufficient light, given most of the suspended solids have settled from the plume, and the availability of sufficient nutrients, which drive higher phytoplankton production and characterise the formation of secondary stage flood plumes. The formation and extent of these secondary flood plumes were mapped using MODIS true-colour satellite imagery. The distance and the location of the secondary plume water are reliant on flow, coastal hydrodynamics, and biological activity.

Conclusions: The combination of in-situ data and remotely sensed data provides information on the complexity of these coastal processes during the wet season and offers managers a more comprehensive understanding of the extent of nutrient enrichment in the Great Barrier Reef coastal area and the potential influence of flood plumes on coastal marine ecosystems.

Item ID: 31571
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: chlorophyll-a; Great Barrier Reef; phytoplankton; monitoring; remote sensing; MODIS
Additional Information:

Copyright: © 2013 Devlin et al.; licensee Springer.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ISSN: 2192-1709
Funders: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Population and Communities, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2014 00:34
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040599 Oceanography not elsewhere classified @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
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