The SEOM initiative of the European Space Agency is designed to enable the science community to address many new avenues of scientific research that will be opened by free and open access to data from operational Earth Observation projects, including ocean colour. Recently, SEOM launched three projects dealing with ocean colour, all of which aim to generate new ESA ocean colour products:

  • The POCO project targets particulate pools of carbon in the ocean (total and phytoplankton carbon), and possibly dissolved pools.
  • The PPP project aims to generate new ESA Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) products and their partition into direct and diffuse components, and additional UV Radiation. The PPP project will also develop an application product that uses PAR: marine primary production, as well as fraction of PAR absorbed by live algae.
  • The C2X project deals with ocean-colour algorithms for extreme (high-absorbing and high-scattering) Case-2 waters.

All these projects began with user consultations, and as these projects are drawing to a close, the project teams are organizing a workshop to inform the user community of the new products; to obtain feedbacks from those who have already used them; and to develop a roadmap for follow-up activities. Contributions from related projects elsewhere are solicited to place the project activities in a broader context. These include:

  • The Pathfinder STSE MAPPS project which aims to improve estimates of Primary Production through advancement of methods for estimating the photosynthesis-irradiance parameters of phytoplankton using remote-sensing data. MAPPS has synergies with the SEOM projects mentioned above.
  • The Ocean Colour-CCI programme has produced a set of merged ocean-colour products in the form of 16-year time series with related estimates of errors, merging data from the MERIS sensor of ESA and SeaWiFS and MODIS-A sensors from NASA. The series will be extended using data from NOAA’s VIIRS sensor and the operational Sentinel-3 mission.
  • The SynSenPFT project develops by the exploitation of hyper and multispectral ocean color satellite measurements using SCIAMACHY and OC-CCI data a synergistic product of Phytoplankton Functional Types (PFT) at best spatial and temporal resolution.
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