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AuthorsGokul, Elamurugu Alias
Raitsos, Dionysios E.
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Earth Fluid Modeling and Prediction Group
Earth Science and Engineering Program
Marine Science Program
Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division
KAUST Grant NumberREP/1/3268-01-01
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/631948
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AbstractHarmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are of global concern, as their presence is often associated with socio-economic and environmental issues including impacts on public health, aquaculture and fisheries. Therefore, monitoring the occurrence and succession of HABs is fundamental for managing coastal regions around the world. Yet, due to the lack of adequate in situ measurements, the detection of HABs in coastal marine ecosystems remains challenging. Sensors on-board satellite platforms have sampled the Earth synoptically for decades, offering an alternative, cost-effective approach to routinely detect and monitor phytoplankton. The Red Sea, a large marine ecosystem characterised by extensive coral reefs, high levels of biodiversity and endemism, and a growing aquaculture industry, is one such region where knowledge of HABs is limited. Here, using high-resolution satellite remote sensing observations (1km, MODIS-Aqua) and a second-order derivative approach, in conjunction with available in situ datasets, we investigate for the first time the capability of a remote sensing model to detect and monitor HABs in the Red Sea. The model is able to successfully detect and generate maps of HABs associated with different phytoplankton functional types, matching concurrent in situ data remarkably well. We also acknowledge the limitations of using a remote-sensing based approach and show that regardless of a HAB's spatial coverage, the model is only capable of detecting the presence of a HAB when the Chl-a concentrations exceed a minimum value of ~ 1 mg m-3. Despite the difficulties in detecting HABs at lower concentrations, and identifying species toxicity levels (only possible through in situ measurements), the proposed method has the potential to map the reported spatial distribution of several HAB species over the last two decades. Such information is essential for the regional economy (i.e., aquaculture, fisheries & tourism), and will support the management and sustainability of the Red Sea's coastal economic zone.
CitationGokul EA, Raitsos DE, Gittings JA, Alkawri A, Hoteit I (2019) Remotely sensing harmful algal blooms in the Red Sea. PLOS ONE 14: e0215463. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215463.
SponsorsThis research was funded by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) (REP/1/3268-01-01 to IH). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.