Green Rebecca E.

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Rebecca E.

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  • Article
    Analysis of apparent optical properties and ocean color models using measurements of seawater constituents in New England continental shelf surface waters
    (American Geophysical Union, 2004-03-17) Green, Rebecca E. ; Sosik, Heidi M.
    We used budgets of absorption (a), scattering (b), and backscattering (bb) for particles and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) to investigate sources of seasonal variations in apparent optical properties (AOPs) of New England continental shelf surface waters. Spectral a, b, and bb budgets for particles were estimated from flow cytometric measurements of eukaryotic pico/nanophytoplankton, Synechococcus, heterotrophic prokaryotes, detritus, and minerals; AOPs were modeled with Hydrolight radiative transfer software. For late summer and spring, our modeled values of the diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd) and remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) were on average within 15% and 9%, respectively, of independent measurements. This close agreement allowed us to examine how different seawater constituents contributed to AOP variability. Higher values of Kd in the spring, compared to summer, were due to higher absorption by eukaryotic phytoplankton (aeuk) and CDOM (aCDOM), which coincided with higher nutrient levels and less stratified conditions than in the summer. Differences in the spectral shape of Rrs between the seasons were caused by a combination of differences in aeuk, aCDOM, and bb from non-phytoplankton particles (minerals and detritus combined). For non-phytoplankton bb the major seasonal difference was a higher inverse wavelength dependence in the summer due to the effects of small organic detritus. We applied two semianalytical ocean color models to our data, in order to evaluate whether the assumptions and parameterizations inherent in these models are applicable for New England shelf waters. We show how differences between observed and modeled chlorophyll a specific phytoplankton absorption, aCDOM, and non-phytoplankton bb cause errors in chlorophyll a concentration and IOPs retrieved from reflectance inversion models.
  • Article
    First autonomous bio-optical profiling float in the Gulf of Mexico reveals dynamic biogeochemistry in deep waters
    (Public Library of Science, 2014-07-03) Green, Rebecca E. ; Bower, Amy S. ; Lugo-Fernandez, Alexis
    Profiling floats equipped with bio-optical sensors well complement ship-based and satellite ocean color measurements by providing highly-resolved time-series data on the vertical structure of biogeochemical processes in oceanic waters. This is the first study to employ an autonomous profiling (APEX) float in the Gulf of Mexico for measuring spatiotemporal variability in bio-optics and hydrography. During the 17-month deployment (July 2011 to December 2012), the float mission collected profiles of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll fluorescence, particulate backscattering (bbp), and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) fluorescence from the ocean surface to a depth of 1,500 m. Biogeochemical variability was characterized by distinct depth trends and local “hot spots”, including impacts from mesoscale processes associated with each of the water masses sampled, from ambient deep waters over the Florida Plain, into the Loop Current, up the Florida Canyon, and eventually into the Florida Straits. A deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) occurred between 30 and 120 m, with the DCM depth significantly related to the unique density layer ρ = 1023.6 (R2 = 0.62). Particulate backscattering, bbp, demonstrated multiple peaks throughout the water column, including from phytoplankton, deep scattering layers, and resuspension. The bio-optical relationship developed between bbp and chlorophyll (R2 = 0.49) was compared to a global relationship and could significantly improve regional ocean-color algorithms. Photooxidation and autochthonous production contributed to CDOM distributions in the upper water column, whereas in deep water, CDOM behaved as a semi-conservative tracer of water masses, demonstrating a tight relationship with density (R2 = 0.87). In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this research lends support to the use of autonomous drifting profilers as a powerful tool for consideration in the design of an expanded and integrated observing network for the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Thesis
    Scale closure in upper ocean optical properties : from single particles to ocean color
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2002-06) Green, Rebecca E.
    Predictions of chlorophyll concentration from satellite ocean color are an indicator of phytoplankton primary productivity, with implications for foodweb structure, fisheries, and the global carbon cycle. Current models describing the relationship between optical properties and chlorophyll do not account for much of the optical variability observed in natural waters, because of the presence of seawater constituents that do not covary with phytoplankton pigment concentration. In an attempt to better understand variability in these models, the contributions of seawater constituents to ocean optical properties were investigated. A combination of Mie theory and flow cytometry was used to determine the diameter, complex refractive index (n+n'i), and optical cross-sections of individual particles, based on a method developed in the laboratory using phytoplankton cultures. Individual particle measurements were used to interpret variability in concurrently measured bulk optical properties in New England continental shelf waters in two seasons. The summed contribution to scattering of individual particles in the size range of 0.1-50 μm accounted for approximately the entire scattering coefficient measured independently using bulk methods. In surface waters in both seasons, the large diameters and n' of eukaryotic phytoplankton caused them to be the main particle contributors to both absorption and scattering. Minerals were the main contributor to backscattering, bb, in the spring, whereas in the summer both minerals and detritus contributed to bb. Synechococcus and heterotrophic bacteria were less important optically, contributing ≤11% each to attenuation in either season. The role of seawater constituents in determining remote sensing reflectance, Rrs, was determined using radiative transfer theory. Seasonal differences in the spectral shape of Rrs were contributed to approximately equally by eukaryotic phytoplankton absorption, dissolved absorption, and non-phytoplankton bb. A higher inverse wavelength dependence of non-phytoplankton bb in the summer was caused by the contribution of small detritus, in contrast to larger minerals in the spring. Measurements of bb and Rrs were compared to values from bio-optical models based on chlorophyll concentration. Differences in measured and modeled bb and Rrs were caused by higher dissolved absorption and higher backscattering efficiencies and scattering by non-phytoplankton than were assumed by the model.