Identifying Metocean Drivers of Turbidity Using 18 Years of MODIS Satellite Data: Implications for Marine Ecosystems under Climate Change

Cartwright, Paula J., Fearns, Peter R.C.S., Branson, Paul, Cuttler, Michael V.W., O'Leary, Michael, Browne, Nicola K., and Lowe, Ryan J. (2021) Identifying Metocean Drivers of Turbidity Using 18 Years of MODIS Satellite Data: Implications for Marine Ecosystems under Climate Change. Remote Sensing, 13 (18). 3616.

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Abstract

Turbidity impacts the growth and productivity of marine benthic habitats due to light limitation. Daily/monthly synoptic and tidal influences often drive turbidity fluctuations, however, our understanding of what drives turbidity across seasonal/interannual timescales is often limited, thus impeding our ability to forecast climate change impacts to ecologically significant habitats. Here, we analysed long term (18-year) MODIS-aqua data to derive turbidity and the associated meteorological and oceanographic (metocean) processes in an arid tropical embayment (Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia) within the eastern Indian Ocean. We found turbidity was associated with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles as well as Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events. Winds from the adjacent terrestrial region were also associated with turbidity and an upward trend in turbidity was evident in the body of the gulf over the 18 years. Our results identify hydrological processes that could be affected by global climate cycles undergoing change and reveal opportunities for managers to reduce impacts to ecologically important ecosystems.

Item ID: 77810
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2072-4292
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2023 00:09
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4199 Other environmental sciences > 419999 Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180299 Coastal and estuarine systems and management not elsewhere classified @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards > 199999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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