Science Serving Maryland's Coasts


Measurement of phytoplankton chlorophyll concentration & biomass

Principal Investigator: 

Lawrence W. Harding, Jr.

Start/End Year: 

1991 to 1994


Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Co-Principal investigator: 

Eric C. Itsweire, Johns Hopkins University


The objective of this study is to deploy NASA's Ocean Data Acquisition System (ODAS) in the Chesapeake Bay from winter-spring through summer in 1990 to produce fine-scale maps of phytoplankton biomass. We propose to track event-scale changes in phytoplankton distributions during the diatom blooms that develop annually in the mesohaline to polyhaline part of the Bay. Semi-weekly to weekly flights will be made and the chlorophyll distributions determined from aircraft radiance measurements with ODAS. The proposed research will address the linkage of phytoplankton biomass to nutrient loading and other streamflow-related properties using remote sensing methodology. This work will concentrate on the spring-fall (May-Sep'92) and will augment ongoing Sea Grant-funded research on the winter-spring phytoplankton bloom using remote sensing from aircraft.