Date of Award

Winter 2004

Project Type


Program or Major

Earth Sciences - Oceanography

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Janet W Campbell


The water-leaving radiance measurements and chlorophyll concentrations of the Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS) and the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) were compared to investigate decadal trends in the Yellow and East China Seas (YECS). A unified bio-optical algorithm was derived to convert CZCS pigments to SeaWiFS chlorophyll concentrations. The conversion is applied to level-2 CZCS data.

We established monthly variations in the stratified and well-mixed areas using a coupled ocean wave-circulation model and the ocean color satellite data for estimating primary productivity in the Yellow Sea using satellite observations. The model results were compared with remotely sensed sea surface temperature and water-leaving radiance at 667nm derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to develop a method to differentiate stratified and well-mixed waters using remote sensing data.

We used and modified an existing primary productivity algorithm to estimate phytoplankton primary production using satellite data in the Yellow Sea. The Yellow Sea was first partitioned into three subregions based on the bathymetry and physical features to parameterize the algorithm. A local empirical chlorophyll algorithm was applied to derive more accurate chlorophyll concentration in the Yellow Sea and an approach was presented for estimating the diffuse attenuation coefficient. We investigated whether it was necessary to model the vertical biomass profile. Finally, the algorithm was applied to derive the primary production in the Yellow Sea. The primary production derived using the local algorithm was higher in the middle of the Yellow Sea in May and September than in the shallower (<50 m) coastal areas. The low primary production in the coastal areas is caused by high turbidity due to strong tides and shallow depths. Lower turbidity in the middle of the Yellow Sea allows the light energy for primary production to penetrate to a deeper depth. Our computation of daily total primary production for the entire the Yellow Sea is 19.7 x 104 tonC d-1 in May and 15.8 x 10 4 tonC d-1 in September, and the annual total primary production in the Yellow Sea was 50.1 x 106 tonC yr-1. The resulting maps of primary production calculated from the remotely sensed data provide the first synoptic views of primary production in the Yellow Sea. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).