Initial Analysis of OSTA-1 Ocean Color Experiment Imagery

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Science  03 Dec 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4576, pp. 1027-1031
DOI: 10.1126/science.218.4576.1027


Ocean images were obtained at three widely separated locations on the earth as part of NASA's ocean color experiment. Digital computer enhancement and band-ratioing techniques were applied to radiometrically corrected spectral data to emphasize patterns of chlorophyll distribution and, in one case, of bottom topography. The chlorophyll pattern in the Yellow Sea between China and Korea was evident in a scene produced from shuttle orbit 24. The effects of the discharge from the Yangtze and other rivers were also observed. Two scenes from orbits 30 and 32 revealed the movement of patches of plankton in the Gulf of Cádiz. Geometric corrections of these images permitted ocean current velocities in the vicinity to be deduced. The variability in water depth over the Grand Bahama Bank was estimated by using the blue-green channel of the instrument. The very clear water conditions in the area caused bottom-reflected sunlight to produce a sensor signal that was inversely related to the depth of the water.