Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 175–184 | Cite as

Preliminary assessment of eutrophication by remotely sensed chlorophyll-a in Toyama Bay, the Sea of Japan

  • Genki TerauchiEmail author
  • Ryo Tsujimoto
  • Joji Ishizaka
  • Hideaki Nakata
Original Article


Time series of the chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl-a) observed by ocean color satellites from 1998 to 2009 were used to assess eutrophication in Toyama Bay, the Sea of Japan. An overall mean of Chl-a during the 12-year period was used to divide the study area into “high” or “low” Chl-a areas based on a reference condition of 5 mg m−3. The annual maximum monthly mean Chl-a trend was estimated pixel-wise and its significance examined by the Sen slope test at a 90 % confidence level. By combining the level and trend of remotely sensed Chl-a, Toyama Bay was then classified into six eutrophication states: high-increasing, high-no trend, high-decreasing, low-increasing, low-no trend and low-increasing. Our study indicates that the combined use of both the level and trend of remotely sensed Chl-a can be an efficient method to preliminarily assess eutrophication of coastal waters after a quality screening process with level 2 flags and validation with in situ Chl-a data.


Eutrophication Phytoplankton Ocean color radiometry Chlorophyll-a Coastal environment 



We would like to thank NASA OBPG for providing ocean color satellite data and the Toyama Prefectural Government for providing in situ data, and Eric Stewart for final draft English editing. This study was supported by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Genki Terauchi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ryo Tsujimoto
    • 1
  • Joji Ishizaka
    • 3
  • Hideaki Nakata
    • 4
  1. 1.Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation CenterToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Science and TechnologyNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  3. 3.Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research CenterNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Fisheries Science and Environmental StudiesNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan

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