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  • C-CORE 2.10 Monitoring of chlorophyll-a, productivity and harmful algal blooms (HAB)


 Monitoring of chlorophyll-a, productivity and harmful algal blooms (HAB)

Challenge ID



Monitoring of chlorophyll-a , p roductivity and harmful algal blooms (HAB)

Challenge originator:


General Description


What data/products do you use?

Ship-based sampling (plankton tows), MODIS and SeaWifs ocean colour


Ship-based measurements; satellite images

When do you use this kind of dataset?

To determine timing and magnitude of productivity and HABs in the area - would help with assessing change in ocean climate on a regional basis that would be reflected in environmental effects monitoring (EEM) data around the operation without causal linkage

What are your actual limitations and do you have a work around? 

EEM data is generally collected around production platforms without a broader spatial or temporal environmental context. If changes in productivity or biota are detected around the site, it may not be clear whether it is a human induced effect or if it reflects an independent regional shift in ocean conditions. Data is sparse and SeaWifs is offline.


To collect all these environmental data would require extensive ship surveys which are time consuming and expensive

Needs and expectations on EO data

Ocean colour imagery


Satellite imagery to detect features such a productivity (colour), SSH, temperature, winds, waves, fronts, etc.

Challenge classification


Pre license










Geographic context/ restrictions

– Falkland Islands, South China Sea, Myanmar, Morocco / Western Sahara

Topographic classification / Offshore classification


Activity impacted/concerned

Possible reduction of environmental liability

Technology Urgency

Immediately (0-2 years)

Information requirements


Update frequency


Daily-seasonal (Morocco / Western Sahara)

Temporal resolution


Daily-seasonal (Morocco / Western Sahara)

Spatial resolution


1-100m (Morocco / Western Sahara)

Data quality

Medium to high

Data Coverage and extent


Example format

Ocean colour imagery


Within a month


As close to real-time as possible

Existing standards

RPS Energy.  2009.  Environmental Impact Assessment for Offshore Drilling The Falkland Islands. Report prepared for Rockhopper Exploration PLC.


DanLing Tang, Hiroshi Kawamura, Tran Van Dien, MingAn Lee. 2004. Offshore phytoplankton biomass increase and its oceanographic causes in the South China Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series. Vol. 268: 31-41.


Jing Yu, Dan-Ling Tang, Im-Sang Oh, and Li-Jun Yao. 2007. Response of Harmful Algal Blooms to Environmental Changes in Daya Bay, China . Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., Vol. 18, No. 5, 1011-1027.


Patidar, B. 2006. Application of remote sensing and GIS in the analysis of environment of Bay of Bengal . MSc., Dissertation, Barkatullah University, Bhopal(MP)- National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India


Pelegrí, J.L. et al. 2005.  Coupling between the open ocean and the coastal upwelling region off northwest Africa: water recirculation and offshore pumping of organic matter . Journal of Marine Systems, Volume 54, Issues 1–4, February 2005, Pp. 3-37  Available online at:



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