CoastObs uses Earth Observation and validated in-situ data to provide PSC maps in Europe.

Why is it important?

The size structure of phytoplankton communities has implications for food chain length and the energy transfer efficiency to zooplankton. For example, being phytoplankton recognised as the primary source of food for cultured mussels, small phytoplankton (<5 μm) are often not efficiently retained as food and therefore phytoplankton size can affect bivalve growth and condition. Knowing the phytoplankton primary productions is of relevance to carbon cycling, fisheries & aquaculture management.

What does CoastObs offer?

CoastObs service provides an accurate and timely geospatial information as a result of combining satellite mapping, modelling and in-situ measurements, to present PSC maps at a spatial/temporal resolution of 300m (daily).

How was the data validated?

The PSC product was validated using ground data of fractionated Chl-a and spectral absorption from Vigo and Venice. This product is currently being validated over Dutch coastal waters using the pigment profile. The Figures below show an example of the in-situ model performance for nano- and micro-phytoplankton at Venice and Vigo using the 2018 data.


Figure 1. Validation of S3-OLCI CoastObs products over Venice and Vigo for pico-phytoplankton, nanophytoplankton and micro-phytoplankton using only the 2018 ground data.


Case study example: Phytoplankton size classes in Venice.

Figure 1. Phytoplankton size classes in Venice.


Specific to different retrieval approaches and availability of representative datasets. Availability depends on cloud cover.