Abstract

This CD-ROM presents the mean monthly distributions of bio-optical characteristics in the Barents, White, Black, and Caspian Seas derived from data of the ocean color scanners from 1998 to 2010.

Chlorophyll "a" concentration, the particle backscattering and yellow substance absorption coefficients are presented; they characterize spatial and temporal variability of photosynthetic phytoplankton, particulate matter and colored organic matter.

The regional algorithms based on in situ measured data were used for the most of calculations. A brief description of the algorithms is given.

The suspended matter concentrations were computed in the Barents, White, and Caspian seas with the regional algorithms, as well as in the Black Sea in June. That month stands out among the others in the Black Sea as being of the highest bbp values, covering the whole basin and observed repeatedly every year. For this specific case the algorithms to derive chlorophyll "a", total suspended matter TSM, and coccolithophoride concentrations have been developed. The mean monthly distributions of bio-optical characteristics in the Northern and Middle Caspian were computed with the regional algorithms developed on the basis of our field data and taking into account the bottom reflection in shallow waters.

The monthly and annually averaged data on SST from MODIS-Aqua were included to provide an opportunity for analysis of connection between changes of bio-optical characteristics and SST.

In our previous issues, the bio-optical characteristics from 1998 to 2007 were mainly computed using satellite data from SeaWiFS ocean color scanner. In 2008 a difficulty with SeaWiFS data arose, and in December 2010 the SeaWiFS activity was finally terminated. For continuation of the series, MODIS-Aqua data, which are available since July 2002, were joined with SeaWiFS data. The SeaWiFS monthly averages were converted to MODIS-like monthly averages (by using the derived regression equations MODIS-Aqua vs. SeaWiFS) for the period from January 1998 to June 2002. From July 2002 MODIS data were used.

The mean monthly distributions of the bio-optical characteristics in the White Sea with spatial distributions of 3 x 3 km were computed from MODIS-Aqua data.

A brief analysis of the obtained results is given. The detailed explanation of the observed changes in the bio-optical characteristics was not an aim of this study; it is evident that in most cases this requires special rather thorough and multidisciplinary studies. The obtained results provide a good basis for further investigation of the processes causing spatial and temporal variations in the seas considered.

Acknowledgements

SeaWiFS and MODIS data used in this study were downloaded from NASA sites.