Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 511–523 | Cite as

Optical properties of the red tide in Isahaya Bay, southwestern Japan: Influence of chlorophyll a concentration

  • Hiroaki SasakiEmail author
  • Akihiko Tanaka
  • Mitsunori Iwataki
  • Yasuharu Touke
  • Eko Siswanto
  • Chun Knee Tan
  • Joji Ishizaka
Original Articles


Remote sensing reflectance [Rrs(λ)] and absorption coefficients of red tides were measured in Isahaya Bay, southwestern Japan, to investigate differences in the optical properties of red tide and non-red tide waters. We defined colored areas of the sea surface, visualized from shipboard, as “red tides”. Peaks of the Rrs(λ) spectra of non-red tide waters were at 565 nm, while those of red tides shifted to longer wavelengths (589 nm). The spectral shape of Rrs(λ) was close to that of the reciprocal of the total absorption coefficient [1/a(λ)], implying that the Rrs(λ) peak is determined by absorption. Absorption coefficients of phytoplankton [aph(λ)], non-pigment particles and colored dissolved organic matter increased with increasing chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a), and those coefficients were correlated with Chl a for both red tide and non-red tide waters. Using these relationships between absorption coefficients and Chl a, variation in the spectrum of 1/a(λ) as a function of Chl a was calculated. The peak of 1/a(λ) shifted to longer wavelengths with increasing Chl a. Furthermore, the relative contribution of aph(λ) to the total absorption in red tide water was significantly higher than in non-red tide water in the wavelength range 550–600 nm, including the peak. Our results show that the variation of aph(λ) with Chl a dominates the behavior of the Rrs(λ) peak, and utilization of Rrs(λ) peaks at 589 and 565 nm may be useful to discriminate between red tide and non-red tide waters by remote sensing.


Red tide remote sensing reflectance absorption coefficient chlorophyll Isahaya Bay 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Sasaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Akihiko Tanaka
    • 2
  • Mitsunori Iwataki
    • 3
  • Yasuharu Touke
    • 4
  • Eko Siswanto
    • 5
  • Chun Knee Tan
    • 6
  • Joji Ishizaka
    • 7
  1. 1.Seikai National Fisheries Research InstituteFisheries Research AgencyNagasakiJapan
  2. 2.School of Marine Science and TechnologyTokai UniversityShizuokaJapan
  3. 3.Institute for East China Sea ResearchNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Science and TechnologyNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  5. 5.Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research CenterNagoya UniversityAichiJapan
  6. 6.Global Environment Information CentreUnited Nations UniversityTokyoJapan
  7. 7.Faculty of FisheriesNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan

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