Large Area Marine Productivity-Pollution Experiments (LAMPEX) - A Series of Studies Being Developed to Hasten the Operational Use of Remote Sensing for Living Marine Resources and Environmental Quality

  • James P. Thomas
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 13)


Remote sensing offers real possibilities for beginning to piece together interrelationships between measurable abiotic factors (e.g. temperature, light) and the various trophic levels of the ecosystem over large areas (e.g. U.S. continental shelf, Canada to Mexico) for fishery management and environmental assessment. Sampling of the planktonic component of the marine ecosystem through traditional approaches is labor intensive and currently inadequate because of the lack of simultaneity of measurement when investigating a large area. The problem is exacerbated by the short generation time of many marine organisms, which for some (e.g. phytoplankton) is measured in days. The broad, synoptic, high frequency coverage possible with remote sensing should enable us to elucidate the nature of: 1) the spring bloom of phytoplankton, 2) patchiness, 3) year to year differences in spatial patterns; 4) the flux of materials and contaminants from the estuaries, 5) frontal systems and 6) the circulation and continuity of such systems as Georges Bank with regard to year class survival of larval fish. For such research problems, the use of remote sensing should increase vessel effectiveness an order of magnitude or more by: 1) extending a “lone” ship’s observations outward spatially, and both forward and backward temporally and 2) by focusing ship operations on key areas. Therefore, the Northeast Fisheries Center (NEFC) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as part of the Ocean Pulse/Northeast Monitoring Program is developing a series of joint, coherent studies to hasten the operational use of remote sensing to: 1) increase our understanding of regional marine ecosystem processes, 2) to provide an extensive, synoptic, integrated, and timely data base for application to problems of ocean resources and environmental management, 3) to provide a basis for comparative studies of ecological and contaminant processes in boreal, temperate and subtropical coastal and oceanic waters, and 4) to advance the development of improved remote sensing systems and techniques for monitoring and assessing the living regional marine resources and environmental quality.


Continental Shelf Total Suspended Matter Total Suspended Sediment National Marine Fishery Total Suspended Solid Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. Thomas
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationU.S. Department of CommerceHighlandsUSA
  2. 2.National Marine Fisheries ServiceU.S. Department of CommerceHighlandsUSA
  3. 3.Northeast Fisheries CenterU.S. Department of CommerceHighlandsUSA
  4. 4.Sandy Hook LaboratoryU.S. Department of CommerceHighlandsUSA

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