, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 421–427 | Cite as

An instrument system for high-speed mapping of chlorophyll a and physico-chemical variables in surface waters

  • Christopher J. Madden
  • John W. Day
Technical Notes and Comments


A device incorporating microprocessor control and flow-through sampling permits high-speed measurements of chlorophyll a, and physical and chemical variables in aquatic systems. Continuous sampling of chlorophyll a, conductivity, temperature, salinity, incident photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), underwater PAR, and pH facilitates multiple correlations and mapping of variables at both small and large spatial scales. The instrument is portable and can be installed in a small boat for “rapid response” sampling of large areas. The low-voltage DC power requirement and shallow draft make the device especially suitable for work in shallow coastal areas, tidal creeks, bayous, and physically complex aquatic landscapes where larger vessels cannot be operated. Examples of applications of the instrument are discussed. In Fourleague Bay, Louisiana, a shallow estuary on the Gulf of Mexico, we were able to detect horizontal chlorophyll a structure and transient fronts map spatial variations on the scale of a few meters to several kilometers, and follow movements of chlorophyll features through the estuary. These patterns were often not apparent when sampled at discrete stations.


Chlorophyll Phytoplankton Sensor Array Turner Design Small Boat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher J. Madden
    • 1
  • John W. Day
    • 1
  1. 1.Coastal Ecology Institute Department of Oceanography and Coastal SciencesLouisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge

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