Articles | Volume 12, issue 3
Review article
25 May 2016
Review article |  | 25 May 2016

Ocean colour opportunities from Meteosat Second and Third Generation geostationary platforms

Ewa J. Kwiatkowska, Kevin Ruddick, Didier Ramon, Quinten Vanhellemont, Carsten Brockmann, Carole Lebreton, and Hans G. Bonekamp

Abstract. Ocean colour applications from medium-resolution polar-orbiting satellite sensors have now matured and evolved into operational services. These applications are enabled by the Sentinel-3 OLCI space sensors of the European Earth Observation Copernicus programme and the VIIRS sensors of the US Joint Polar Satellite System programme. Key drivers for the Copernicus ocean colour services are the national obligations of the EU member states to report on the quality of marine, coastal and inland waters for the EU Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Further applications include CO2 sequestration, carbon cycle and climate, fisheries and aquaculture management, near-real-time alerting to harmful algae blooms, environmental monitoring and forecasting, and assessment of sediment transport in coastal waters. Ocean colour data from polar-orbiting satellite platforms, however, suffer from fractional coverage, primarily due to clouds, and inadequate resolution of quickly varying processes. Ocean colour remote sensing from geostationary platforms can provide significant improvements in coverage and sampling frequency and support new applications and services. EUMETSAT's SEVIRI instrument on the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation platforms (MSG) is not designed to meet ocean colour mission requirements, however, it has been demonstrated to provide valuable contribution, particularly in combination with dedicated ocean colour polar observations. This paper describes the ongoing effort to develop operational ocean colour water turbidity and related products and user services from SEVIRI. SEVIRI's multi-temporal capabilities can benefit users requiring improved local-area coverage and frequent diurnal observations. A survey of user requirements and a study of technical capabilities and limitations of the SEVIRI instruments are the basis for this development and are described in this paper. The products will support monitoring of sediment transport, water clarity, and tidal dynamics by providing hourly coverage and long-term time series of the diurnal observations. Further products and services are anticipated from EUMETSAT's FCI instruments on Meteosat Third Generation satellites (MTG), including potential chlorophyll a products.

Short summary
Copernicus operational services include ocean colour applications from medium-resolution polar-orbiting satellite sensors. The goal is to satisfy EU reporting on the quality of marine, coastal and inland waters, as well as to support climate, fisheries, environmental monitoring, and sediment transport applications. Ocean colour data from polar platforms, however, suffer from fractional coverage. This effort is in developing water turbidity services from Meteosat geostationary instruments.