Physical oceanographic processes influence bio-optical properties in the Tasman Sea

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Journal Article
Journal of Sea Research, 2016, 110 pp. 1 - 7
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Remote sensing observations show optical signatures to conform to the physical oceanographic patterns in the Tasman Sea. To test the link between physical oceanographic processes and bio-optical properties we investigated an in situ bio-optical dataset collected in the Tasman Sea. Analysis of in situ observations showed the presence of four different water masses in the Tasman Sea, formed by the relatively warm and saline East Australia Current (EAC) water, a mesoscale cold core eddy on the continental slope, cooler Tasman Sea water on the shelf and river plume water. The distribution of suspended substances and their inherent optical properties in these water masses were distinctly different. Light absorption and attenuation budgets indicate varying optical complexity between the water masses. Specific inherent optical properties of suspended particulate and dissolved substances in each group were different as they were influenced by physical and biogeochemical processes specific to that water mass. Remote sensing reflectance signature varied in response to changing bio-optical properties between the water masses; thus providing the link between physical oceanographic processes, bio-optical properties and the optical signature. Findings presented here extend our knowledge of the Tasman Sea, its optical environment and the role of physical oceanographic processes in influencing the inherent optical properties and remote sensing signature in this complex oceanographic region.
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