Use of the In Vivo Fluorescence Line at 685 nm for Remote Sensing Surveys of Surface Chlorophyll a

  • J. F. R. Gower
  • G. Borstad
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 13)


In airborne surveys of coastal water the in vivo fluorescence line of chlorophyll a provides a characteristic and relatively narrow band signature for chlorophyll detection and measurement. Quantitative accuracy is limited by the varying fluorescent efficiency of different phytoplankton populations and by changes in water absorption that reduce the light available for fluorescence, but this accuracy appears adequate for many survey applications. Examples are shown of airborne measurements taken as part of the Canada France Ocean Optics Experiment (CFOX) over the Mediterranean, the coastal waters of British Columbia and the Lancaster Sound area of the eastern Canadian arctic. The fluorescence observations appear to give as useful a signal as the blue to green reflectance ratio with less uncertainty due to atmospheric scattering and surface reflection. From higher altitudes the effects of oxygen and water vapour absorption lines become important, but the line remains measurable, and mapping of the fluorescence distribution from space appears feasible.


Phytoplankton Population Fluorescence Line Narrow Band Signature Surface Chlorophyll Line Height 
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

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. R. Gower
    • 1
  • G. Borstad
    • 2
  1. 1.Remote Sensing Institute of Ocean SciencesSidneyCanada
  2. 2.Seakem Oceanography Ltd.SidneyCanada

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