Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Ocean Sci., 5, 661–684, 2009

Special issue: Ocean sensors

Ocean Sci., 5, 661–684, 2009

  10 Dec 2009

10 Dec 2009

Optical tools for ocean monitoring and research

C. Moore1, A. Barnard1, P. Fietzek2, M. R. Lewis3, H. M. Sosik4, S. White4, and O. Zielinski5 C. Moore et al.
  • 1WET Labs, Inc., Corvallis, Oregon, USA
  • 2Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Chemical Oceanography, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  • 3Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Satlantic, Inc. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 4Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
  • 5Institute for Marine Resources, University of Applied Sciences, Bremerhaven, Germany

Abstract. Requirements for understanding the relationships between ocean color and suspended and dissolved materials within the water column, and a rapidly emerging photonics and materials technology base for performing optical based analytical techniques have generated a diverse offering of commercial sensors and research prototypes that perform optical measurements in water. Through inversion, these tools are now being used to determine a diverse set of related biogeochemical and physical parameters. Techniques engaged include measurement of the solar radiance distribution, absorption, scattering, stimulated fluorescence, flow cytometry, and various spectroscopy methods. Selective membranes and other techniques for material isolation further enhance specificity, leading to sensors for measurement of dissolved oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide, common nutrients and a variety of other parameters. Scientists are using these measurements to infer information related to an increasing set of parameters and wide range of applications over relevant scales in space and time.